Man filmed repeatedly punching dog in Lancashire streets IBTimes UK

A woman has been charged in relation to a "traumatic" dog attack, in which 11 children were bitten as they played in a park in Blyth, Northumberland. Clare Neale was held on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control on 21 May.

The 37-year-old from Blyth was due to appear at South East Northumberland Magistrates Court on 21 May. A 34-year-old woman and a 42-year-old man have also been arrested on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control.

"Thankfully these incidents are extremely rare," said Superintendent Mick Paterson from Northumberland Police's Northern Area Command. "But we recognise that this has been a traumatic incident for those involved, their families and for the wider community."

The Staffordshire bull terrier struck in a fenced play area in the park in Blyth on the evening of 20 May. It was restrained when a father of one of the children tied it to a fence using a cardigan before police arrived to transport it to kennels, where police said it remained.

Three of the children were hospitalised overnight after the attack, police said.

"Investigations into this incident are ongoing and I urge anyone with any information to contact the police," Superintendent Paterson said. "We will continue to have extra neighbourhood officers in the area speaking to those involved and offering reassurance to local residents who have any concerns."

Under current legislation a dog in considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them. A conviction can lead to a six month prison sentence or an unlimited fine and a ban on owner animals. The dog may also be euthanised.

If a dog injures someone in an attack, their owner could face a maximum five year prison sentence.