Three young girls bitten by dogs in savage Dublin attack scarred for life

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Three young girls who were bitten by dogs in a savage attack on Sunday are scarred for life.

Two 12-year-olds and an 18-year-old woman suffered horrific wounds in the incident and were hospitalised, with the eldest now admitting she has a fear of dogs.

It was first thought the dogs were deliberately dumped at the entrance to the Avila Park halting site and housing estate in Finglas, north Dublin, but now it is believed the dogs may have escaped from a back yard.

Leg of Helen Collins

One of the two dogs has been put down and the other is in the pound after an owner of one involved is understood to have handed himself in to An Garda Siochana.

Helen Collins, 18, was the first to be attacked and was bitten on the arm and leg.

“I was coming up home and the two dogs came out of my garden,” she said.

Bite wounds on Katelynn Collins, aged 12

“One latched onto my arm and the other grabbed my leg.

“I don’t know how I got one off, but I hit the other off the wall and threw myself at my aunty’s gate and threw myself on the ground and my cousin locked the gate.

“After that I can’t really remember, just the pain and being frightened.

“I was never afraid of dogs, but after this I won’t be able to go near a dog.

“I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy."

Bite wounds on Katelynn Collins, aged 12

Helen is walking with a limp as result of the bites and is still in a lot of pain.

Her younger sister Katelynn also suffered appalling dog bites.

Blood could be seen smeared down a fence and splattered on the footpath where the terrifed youngster attempted to escape more bites.

Luckily for Katelynn, Michael Collins arrived to visit his mother and got out of his van to rescue the girl.

Brave Michael used his phone to hit the dog and some kicks to the dogs throat saw it finally release its grip and traumatised Katelynn fell into Michael’s arms.

Katelyns blood at the scene

As he put her in his van out of harms way one of the dogs left the estate and the other attacked 11-year-old Dina Collins who suffered three bites to her arm as she tried to protect herself.

Michael said: “I came in and Katelynn was on the fence, the dog was not biting her - it was actually locked on to her and his two back legs were off the ground.

“She would have been torn limb from limb. The biggest dog must have been seven or eight stone in weight.

Michael Collins, who rescued Katelynn

“What I saw on the day, I’m never going to forget it.”

The younger girls were treated at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, while Helen went to Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown.

Dina has since been readmitted to Temple Street with a possible infection as a result of her wounds.

One of the dogs was cornered in a front garden and Gardai and a dog warden removed it.

Dog being removed from the scene

The Collins praised the Gardai and ambulance service for their speedy response.

Michael called for tighter controls for some breeds of dogs and more responsible ownership.

“People have been killed by dogs,” he said.

“Train them, anyone that wants to own one let them do a course before they are ever entitled to own one.”

Gardai confirmed investigations were ongoing.

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