A FAMILY pet has been ‘put to sleep’ after a teenager needed hospital treatment for suffering bite wounds to her legs.

Yesterday, just before 1pm, police received a call to reports of an incident in Darfield.

On arrival, 17-year-old girl was found with deep wounds to her legs, caused by the family Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The teenager was taken to hospital for treatment. It is believed that she was in the living room, got up to answer the door and when she returned the dog attacked her.

As enquiries at the home with parents continued, it was also reported this is not the first time the dog has bitten someone.

The dog was signed over to police and has since been put to sleep.

PC Paul Jameson, an officer within the team leading the work on dangerous dogs in South Yorkshire said: “All dogs can be aggressive; they are animals, but some dogs have greater capability to cause harm due to their size and strength and characteristics.

“We always urge parents to never leave children unsupervised with dogs, but in this case, the victim is nearly an adult and did not provoke the dog in any way.

“It’s a stark reminder that all dogs, no matter how long they have been part of your family, can attack. Animals can’t express things to us, but understanding their behaviour, body language, what is normal and not normal, can prevent injury. In certain breeds these signs may not be as obvious or easy to identify as others.

“Children should never be unsupervised when with dogs, even family pets that you believe ‘would never hurt’ your children.

“A dog’s instinct to protect itself is to bite. Parents should ensure children learn to respect a dog’s space and be encouraged to have boundaries around feeding and resting times.”