A FIVE-year-old girl has been left permanently scarred and “traumatised” after a horrific dog attack.
Caitlin Glasgow, from Livingston, was out playing near her home when a Staffordshire bull terrier launched itself at her and bit the little girl’s forehead.
The dog knocked the youngster over and left her with a swollen cheek, a bite mark to her head and bleeding.
Doctors have told Caitlin’s mum Karen McAulay that her daughter will be left with a scar on her forehead for the rest of her life.
Police have now appealed for witnesses to help them trace the owner of the dog after the incident at Raeburn Rigg, Carmondean, at around 10am on Saturday.
Karen said: “Caitlin was out playing with her brother Alistair and my friend’s daughter on Saturday morning and all of a sudden Alistair came running in and said Caitlin had been bitten by a dog.
“I ran outside, but by that time the man and dog had disappeared.
“Understandably, Caitlin was hysterical. Her right cheek was swollen and she had blood running down her face.
“I managed to calm her down and took her to St John’s Hospital where they put butterfly stitches in her forehead but we’ve been warned that she’ll be left with a scar on her face as a result of this.”
The owner of the dog reportedly fled the scene without checking to see if the five-year-old was badly injured.
Karen said: “I just want this man caught because if this had happened to Caitlin it could easily happen to another child.
“In a way she was lucky, because she could have been much more badly hurt, but it was still a terrible experience for her and she’s terrified of dogs now.”
According to witnesses, the Staffordshire bull terrier and its owner were last seen heading towards a bridge leading to Sutherland Way.
The dog owner is described as white, medium to large build, with black hair and wearing a green top. The dog was black and brown with white markings and a white spot around its eye.
A harness was also seen on the dog although the owner was not using a leash.
Staffordshire bull terriers have descended from a dog-fighting background and are known for their fearless nature and loyalty to their owners.
Lothian and Borders Police are now appealing for help to track the owner.
A police spokesman said: “Whilst the girl did not suffer serious injury she was still understandably distressed as a result of what happened, and we are appealing for any information that can assist us in tracing the dog owner.
“Anyone who was in the area of Raeburn Rigg at around 10am on Sunday, who either saw what happened or who noticed the dog and its owner there, should contact police immediately.
“Anyone else who recognises the description of the man or dog should also get in touch.”
If anybody has any information on the incident they should call police on 0131-311 3131 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.