Carshalton teen Megan Herriett bitten by bull terrier calls for dangerous dog law change
A 15-year-old girl scarred for life after being bitten by a bull terrier has called for changes to dangerous dog laws.
Megan Herriett was 14 when she was bitten on her face by a dog as she walked with friends near her home in Northwood Road, Carshalton.
She has needed a string of operations to heal the damage after part of her top lip ripped off when she leant down to stroke the animal.
After the attack her neighbour Theresa Ford, 56, was accused of allowing her Staffordshire Bull Terrier to be dangerously out of control in a public place.
Mrs Ford denied the charges, and the case against her was discontinued because of a lack of evidence.
Animal lover Megan has now launched a petition calling for changes to dog laws to ask for any dog that bites someone to be destroyed.
She said: "It was the scariest thing that has happened to me in my life and I will have to live with the scars of it forever.
"I am not an animal hater, I love animals and my petition is not against any particular breed, this petition is just to protect victims of dog attacks and get them some justice.
"It may be too late for me but not for others. I want to make sure if a dog attacks someone who did not provoke it, it should be classed as a dangerous dog whether it was on a lead or not.
"Dangerous dogs should be destroyed and if they are not for any reason, have an order put on them which means they can only be walked at certain times of the day with a muzzle."
"When a dog bites it is unfortunate but inevitable that it is then a danger to others and itself."
She backed stiffer penalties for dangerous dog owners brought in this week by the Sentencing Council, an independent body of the Ministry of Justice.
Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake, who is helping Megan to promote her campaign, said while he believed there should be flexibility within the law involving dangerous dogs, the laws should be toughened up.
Sign Megan's petition at change.org/en-GB/petitions/megan-herriett-change-the-law-on-dangerous-dogs