POLICE have issued a warning following the death of a puppy and injuries to two dog owners, one in Worsbrough Common, on the same day.

Officers are urging dog owners to stop thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ after an innocent dog was mauled to death and two owners were hurt yesterday.

They said: "Yesterday within the space of four hours, officers responded to calls of a puppy being mauled to death and two victims sustaining injuries from their own dogs.

"As the festive period approaches, and homes become busier and louder, we are again urging dog owners to not become complacent and remember it could happen to anyone, and that any dog can be aggressive.

Just before 3pm police received reports that a 19-year-old in Worsbrough Common had sustained serious injuries from her own Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog.

The woman was taken to hospital by ambulance with serious injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Chief Inspector Emma Cheney, who is leading the work on dangerous dogs in South Yorkshire, said: “You are more likely to be bitten by a dog in your own or someone else’s home.

“The woman in Barnsley who suffered serious injury had a small child in the home at the time and we must realise the dangers posed to vulnerable people.

“We risk assess every call that comes into our control room concerning dogs being out of control. As part of the risk assessment, we look at other people living in the property, and how we can safeguard them from harm.

“Preventing danger starts within the home. If your dog is displaying any signs of aggression, seek help. Charities are available to work with you and your dog.”

A few hours later, just after 6pm, officers attended a property in Doncaster following reports that a bully breed dog had killed a puppy before injuring its owner.

Upon officers’ arrival, the puppy was dead and the dog was signed over and remains in police care while our enquiries continue.

CI Cheney continued: “This dog had been in the family home for over a year, and this is a reminder that when circumstances change, so can a dog’s behaviour.

“As Christmas approaches and your home may become busier and louder with festivities and family gatherings, please remember the stress that this can cause your dog.

“Your dog’s actions are your responsibility as an owner, whether in public, at home or in any other place.

“Once a dog becomes stressed or anxious, it can take days for the dog to calm down and return to its normal behaviour, so it’s important to remember to be understanding, vigilant and aware the days after your dog has displayed any type of distress or change in behaviour.”