WARNING – GRAPHIC IMAGES: Stephanie Jones, 32, from near Swansea, south Wales, had two American Bullies and had to have one put down after it mauled her – but she insists each dog is different and it is not the breed
Picture: Stephanie Jones)
A dog owner bitten 25 times in a horrific American Bully attack claims the breed is not dangerous – and lets her three young children still live with one.
Stephanie Jones had six-month-old Bully dog, Chase, put to sleep after the mauling.
The 32-year-old was rushed to hospital, where she caught skin infection cellulitis, and was left with chunks missing from her arms.
But she claims tarring all Bullies with the same brush is wrong.
It comes as fatal attacks on people have soared in recent months in the UK leading to calls for Bullies – not recognized by the Kennel Club as an official breed – to be banned via the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Stephanie, from near Swansea, South Wales, said she should have spotted the red flags when she bought the dog that mauled her.
She had put a post out on Snapchat asking if anyone had a Champagne-coloured Bully she could buy.
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She was put in touch with a breeder and went to collect the 10-week-old puppy in April last year but was refused entry into his home so could not see its living standard or meet its parents. Chase costs £3,000.
Stephanie told the Mirror: “He literally came out to me by the car, passed the puppy through the car window and promised to send all the paperwork in the post and I never received anything. I’ve learned my lesson.”
She later spoke to people who knew the breeder and was told he is unlicensed and there are “crates upon crates in the house of just dogs locked away, used for breeding”.
After taking Chase home, Stephanie had noticed a large scar on his ear which the breeder told her must have been done by the dog’s mother.
Later the first night, the puppy started to have a seizure-like fit and she rushed him to an emergency vet.
“I video recorded this seizure-like thing that he was having, sent it to the breeder and he asked did I want to go swap the puppy for another puppy?” explained Stephanie. “Obviously, I told him no.”
She had arranged to pay for Chase through a payment plan and he was initially supposed to cost £4,000.
But the breeder agreed to knock this down to £3,000 due to the health concerns she raised.
She began to hear more rumors about the breeder, including that he was breeding dogs from the same litters and questioned him about the outstanding paperwork and proof of his license to breed.
“He sent me threatening voice calls and voicemails saying if I ever went to anyone about him that he knows where I live,” Stephanie said.
Later in the year, Chase suddenly went for the family’s Caviler King Charles Spaniel, Lola, and the two dogs were kept apart from then.
Then in August he went for Stephanie’s other Bully, Cookie, who was around 18-months at the time, in front of her kids, who are aged four, five and seven.
Stephanie stepped in and grabbed his collar.
“He went mad, he’s bitten me 25 times on my arms,” she said. “He put me in hospital and I had both my arms flushed out then I caught cellulitis in hospital as well.”
But Stephanie said Cookie had only been interested in protecting the children during the attack and got between them and the aggressive dog.
She said: “I genuinely think that when you have these dogs that aren’t wired right, it is down to breeding and how people bring them up.
“My thing is, I brought both dogs up the same way and if the whole breed is a danger surely my other one would have turned as well, but she didn’t.”
Stephanie said people are “shocked” that she kept Cookie after the attack, but insists: “You can’t tar them all with the same brush. She’s literally my best friend. If I thought anything negative about this dog I wouldn’t have her round my children.
“If it’s anyone who should be against Bullies, it should be me after what he’s done to me. They are not all the same, 100 percent.”
In contrast, Cookie came from a “beautiful house” and Stephanie was invited inside and given the paperwork there and then.
The dog had also been microchipped and had all its vaccines.
Referring to when she bought Chase, she said: “It’s just ridiculous when I look back. I was very stupid.
“I should have thought more into it. I thought it’s a lovely puppy and took it home.”
Bullies were originally bred in the US before becoming increasingly popular across the Atlantic in recent years.
Pitbull Terriers themselves, moreover, confusingly, ‘Pitbull-types’, are banned in Britain under the act.