A horrified mother has urged dog owners to keep their pets under strict control around a town leisure space after her nine-year-old son was attacked during a football
Youngster Ryan Jones was bitten on the leg by the pooch while he was honing his soccer skills with other junior players at the Greensfield pitches in Alnwick.
Luckily, his shinpads stopped the dog – whose owner was present but was off its lead – from piercing the skin, although he was left with a tear in his tracksuit bottoms.
While Ryan’s mum, Louise, admits the incident could have been more severe, she has made an appeal to dog walkers to control their pets around the pitches when Alnwick Town Juniors are training or playing matches.
She said: ““People need to keep their dogs on a lead when the children are there because this could have been worse.
“I can’t believe anyone would have a dog off its lead and let it loose around a football pitch when children are playing. Surely it is just common sense?”
Describing the incident, which happened earlier this month, Louise – a self-confessed dog lover who has a beagle called Busta – said: “This man had a number of dogs with him and one started running around after the children and the dog bit Ryan straight on the leg.
“Ryan was shocked and if it wasn’t for his shinpads, the dog’s bite would have marked him. The incident has made Ryan wary of other dogs.”
She added: “There used to be a fenced-off area where dogs could go, but that has been taken down because of building work at the site.”
Ryan plays for Alnwick Town Magpies and Juniors’ secretary Keith Nichols said: “The club doesn’t want to fall out with anybody and dog owners have as much right to walk their dogs at Greensfield as we have to play football.
“But we would request that dog owners act responsibly and keep their dogs under control. We also have an issue with dog mess at Greensfield and urge owners not to let their dogs foul .”