A charity worker needed 14 stitches in her head after a homeless man's dog launched itself at her in a “vicious attack”.
Laura Snaith was volunteering at Raise The Roof Homeless Project in Beverley Road on Monday morning, when a regular service user and their dog arrived for breakfast.
The Japanese akita was tied to a staircase at the back of the venue, and Laura and a fellow volunteer began stroking it, as they had previously done so several times before.
But when Laura turned her back to walk away, she says the dog launched itself at her and she felt its teeth sink into her head.
“I immediately turned my body away from the dog and started screaming”, said Laura, 31.
“This wasn’t a dog jumping up for fun, this was a vicious attack. Its teeth were an inch away from my eye.
“I managed to get the dog off me, but only because it was still tied to the stairs and couldn’t get near me once I had moved.
“There was so much blood. I had to hold a tea towel to my head for an hour until it stopped.”
Carl Simpson, the founder of Raise The Roof, drove Laura to Hull Royal Infirmary, where she was given an injection to fight tetanus, antibiotics and had 14 stitches to seal the wound on her head.
“Obviously this dog is homeless, so no one knows if it had any diseases or anything”, said Laura, who has been volunteering at the project for almost three months.
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“I do feel bad because I know the dog is his companion, but at the end of the day this dog bit me in the head. I could have been blinded.
“If that had been a baby’s head, it’s not worth thinking what damage could have be done. It’s only because it was tied up that it couldn’t injure me anymore.
“I just hope if people see the dog out and about they will know not to approach it. Just don’t go anywhere near it.
“We don’t know where the man is at the moment, because obviously as a rough sleeper there’s no telling where he will be.”
Laura began volunteering at the project to give back to the homeless community, after she too faced homelessness and addiction.
“It hasn’t stopped me going and volunteering at all, but it has caused me to have a problem with dogs”, she said.
“Yesterday another man came in with a dog and it wasn’t on a lead, and I almost wet myself having a panic attack.
“He was upset we wouldn’t let the dog in, saying it wouldn’t hurt a fly, but I couldn’t cope with having the dog there.
“I just keep having visions of the dog jumping on me and feeling its teeth in the side of my head.
“My whole face currently looks like I’ve had an allergic reaction. It’s so swollen, it hurts to bend down, smile, eat, everything. It’s excruciating.”
What police say
A spokeswoman for Humberside Police said: "We are investigating reports that a woman suffered injuries to her head after she was allegedly bitten by a dog at a soup kitchen on Beverley Road, Hull on Monday, November 11, between 10am and 10:30am.
"It was reported that a man entered the kitchen with the dog a short time before the incident.
"Enquiries are underway and witnesses are asked to please call our non-emergency 101 line, quoting crime reference 16/124046/19."
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