Woman mauled in dog attack

Rainbow centre volunteer Rita Highton who was attacked by a dog on Soputh Cliff.'Picture by Neil Silk  114505a
Rainbow centre volunteer Rita Highton who was attacked by a dog on Soputh Cliff.'Picture by Neil Silk 114505a
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A 74-YEAR-OLD Scarborough woman was left needing a skin graft after a vicious dog attack.

Retired shopkeeper Rita Highton was left to fend for herself after the dog owner denied her pet had done anything wrong.

Woman attacked by dog'Rainbow centre volunteer Rita Highton who was attacked by a dog on South Cliff.The scene of the attack at the junctionof Queen Margarets Road and Filey Road.'Picture by Neil Silk  114505c'07/11/11

Woman attacked by dog'Rainbow centre volunteer Rita Highton who was attacked by a dog on South Cliff.The scene of the attack at the junctionof Queen Margarets Road and Filey Road.'Picture by Neil Silk 114505c'07/11/11

Following the attack Mrs Highton had to walk to a nearby taxi rank to seek help.

She is now asking the dog owner, or anyone who saw the attack, to come forward to make sure it doesn’t happen again to anyone else.

The incident happened at around 4.45pm last Wednesday at the junction of Filey Road and Queen Margaret’s Road.

Mrs Highton, who volunteers at Scarborough’s Rainbow Centre in Auborough Street, said: “As I was walking across the road, I saw a woman with a dog on a lead. She was bent down cleaning up after the dog and when I walked past it jumped up and bit my right forearm.

“The lady said ‘I’m sorry, he’s never done this before’.

“I knew it had gone through the skin and when I showed her, she took one look and said ‘He hasn’t done that’ and walked off. I think it must have scared the life out of her.”

With a three-inch wound to her arm, Mrs Highton walked to ABC taxis in Ramshill. Staff bandaged the injury and took her to Scarborough Hospital. She was treated in A&E and told she would need to go to Castle Hill in Hull the following day for a skin graft, due to the amount of tissue loss.

Mrs Highton is now recovering at home in South Cliff and has thanked all those who have rallied round to help her.

She said: “Everyone has been fantastic. I’ve got some good friends and everyone at the Rainbow Centre has been very supportive.”

Mrs Highton has been in touch with police and the dog warden, who are making a plea for the dog owner or any witnesses to come forward.

She said: “I think the owner was in shock. I couldn’t say she was irresponsible because the dog was on a lead and she was cleaning up its mess. But the dog should be muzzled at the very least. Something needs to be done.”

The owner is described as a woman in her late 40s, around 5ft 4in tall. She was walking a reddish-brown coloured dog, a little smaller than a Labrador, but the exact breed is uncertain.

Anyone who can help is asked to contact PC 1849 Mel Pitchford at Scarborough Police on 0845 6060247, quoting incident number 0392 of November 2.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.