A mother from Buckinghamshire has slammed a dog owner who ‘refused to accept responsibility’ after her pet bit a 9-year-old girl.

Lindsay Guerin, 40, who grew up in the US but now lives in Beaconsfield was entertaining family from across the pond at The Cliveden House Hotel in Taplow last Thursday, October 26, when her 9-year-old daughter was bitten by a ‘huge’ dog.

She had been standing outside on the hotel’s raised patio when she heard her daughter scream and then burst into tears from the direction of the patio staircase.

“I asked if she was ok and she said, ‘The dog bit me’. Her sleeve was wet with slobber, and she was already bruising.”

Lindsay moved to confront the owner of the dog in question – a “huge, white fluffy breed” – but they refused to accept responsibility for the incident.

“I said to the lady, ‘Your dog just bit my daughter!’ but she immediately denied it: ‘No he didn’t!’ I tried to show her the bruise that was rapidly forming on my daughter’s arm, but she had no concern for the injury, nor to help. 

“I like to think that I’m a fairly competent person and that I can look after my family, but I really, genuinely didn’t know what to do at that moment.

“I felt guilty that I didn’t know how to protect my daughter nor what to do in response.”

Not only was Lindsay surprised that the woman cared more to defend her dog than to care about an injured child, but also she was uncertain of what sort of remedial action should be taken.

“The staff at the hotel gave me ice to put on my daughter’s arm and a National Trust manager said they would put the incident on their record.

“I didn’t think it was appropriate to go to the police just for a bruise, but it would have been on a whole other scale if the bite had broken the skin.”

READ MORE: Building with popular Italian restaurant goes up for sale for £450,000

Lindsay stressed how “disheartening” it had been to see the owner “prioritise the dog” despite her daughter’s evident pain.

“My husband had a look around the car park afterwards, but she and her dog had gone. I just wanted to say to her, ‘You can’t always completely control animals, but you need to show humanity’. It was an inhumane response.”

The family has a small Cavapoo themselves and the 40-year-old said her daughter doesn’t seem to have been too scarred by the incident, though she has complained about her arm hurting and a bruise is still visible.

“These animals can do real damage, and our priority should be for the injured person, especially a child. I feel that we’ve been lucky in this instance, but I would love to see empathy and concern prioritised in the wake of our deteriorating society.”

The official guidance from Thames Valley Police states that it is a reportable offence to let a dog be dangerously out of control, either in a public or a private space.

A dog is considered to be out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them. Anyone wishing to report a dog attack can call 101 to make a report.”

Amy Goldsworthy, Visitor Operations and Experience Manager at the National Trust said: “We were informed last week of an incident involving a dog and a child at Cliveden. The wellbeing of our visitors is of the highest priority, and we take any incident reported to us very seriously.

“We welcome all well-behaved dogs under the control of responsible owners so that everyone can enjoy a lovely day out. Our Dog Policy is clearly shown on the front page of our website along with our definition of ‘close control’.

“However, we will be reviewing on-site signage and ways to increase awareness of safe behaviours around owning and approaching dogs.”