A COUPLE from Portland say their 18 month-old daughter has been left traumatised after being bitten on the face by a dog - narrowly missing her eye.

Sophie Garth and Stuart Male, who live at Vindelis Way, Underhill, say Kelsie was walking past an Alsatian cross that was outside a property on their street when she was bitten on the face during an unprovoked incident.

Dorset Echo:

Mum-of-three Sophie said it was "the most horrendous thing" she has ever witnessed in her life - and that the tot is now unable to sleep.

"I just grabbed her and rushed to the car and got her to hospital," she said.

"The sound of her cry, and the noise, is something I'll never, ever get out of my head.

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"She's really suffering now. I've had the health visitor round because when she goes to sleep at night she's waking up in hysterics, saying, 'bad, bad'.

"We were on the bus a few days afterwards and there was a guide dog - she was absolutely petrified - it's just awful, she loves dogs - she's such a caring little soul, I just can't believe what's happened to her."

Dorset Echo: The tot has been left traumatised by the attack says mum SophieThe tot has been left traumatised by the attack says mum Sophie

The dog is not believed to belong to anyone living on the street.

Stuart added: "At first her whole face was covered in blood - our first thought was that her eye had been damaged, that was our panic.

"She was covered in bruises where she fell backwards. Fortunately the wound wasn't too deep or she could have been scarred for life - if it'd been a little bit higher it would have been her eye."

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The pair said the scenes were witnessed by the couple's other two children, as well as a number of other youngsters who were playing outside at the time.

Police attended the scene but no arrests have been made.

"She didn't even have her hand out, she was just walking past. I was five steps behind her and the dog just lunged at her," Sophie added.

"It's an awful thing for a little girl to go through. We want people to know about what happened to stop someone else going through the same thing and to be wary.

"It didn't even bark or show any warning - it just bit her."

A police spokesman said: "Dorset Police received a report at 5.50pm on Saturday April 24 that a young child had been bitten in the face by a dog on Vindelis Way on Portland.

"The child was taken to hospital for treatment to cuts on their face. The injuries are not believed to be serious.

"Enquiries are underway into the incident to establish the full circumstances of what happened. No arrests have been made at this time."