Denny girl (7) bitten by cop’s dog and no action taken

Orla Thomson (7) was bitten by a German Shepherd called Apollo owned by police officer Chris Smith
Orla Thomson (7) was bitten by a German Shepherd called Apollo owned by police officer Chris Smith

Parents fear a dog which bit their daughter will strike again and claim authorities took no action against the canine’s owner – a serving police officer.

Orla Thomson was bitten on her right hip after she asked Chris Smith if she could pet his dog, a German Shepherd called Apollo.

The incident happened on Monday, August 26, just yards from Orla’s home in Lithgow Place, Denny.

The cries of the Head of Muir Primary pupil alerted mum Lisa (39), who was in the house, and dad John (49), who had been out walking the family’s own dog Rosie.

Lisa said: “Orla had been out playing with her friends and Chris was walking round with his baby in the buggy and his dog on a leash. When I heard Orla I ran across the road and she came to me screaming ‘it bit me’.

“At the time Chris didn’t say anything, he was just chalk white.”

Orla was rushed to hospital and her wound was treated with antibiotics.

Now over two months on from the traumatic incident, her wound has healed but she is still wary of all dogs she sees in the street.

Speaking on Monday, Orla said: “I asked him, can I pet your dog and he said yes.”

The Thomson’s said they always had a bad feeling about the German Shepherd ever since Mr Smith and his family moved to the street around a year ago and they fear the dog will bite someone else.

They are also angry no action appears to have been taken against its owner.

Lisa said Mr Smith texted her after the incident saying he was going to put Apollo in a shelter and it would take a couple of weeks. Then he told the family it was alright, he had talked to a dog trainer who told him to muzzle Apollo.

“That’s why I didn’t go to police initially because he said he would deal with it,” said Lisa. “I gave him the benefit of the doubt.”

However, when Lisa noticed Mr Smith was walking the dog and it had no muzzle on she decided to report her concerns.

“The police came out and took a statement and said they would get in touch with the dog warden and they will take it from there. When I noticed Chris was still walking the dog without a muzzle I contacted the dog warden and they told me this was the first they had heard about it.

“They said police had contacted them for advice on a case, but had given no information about my daughter being bitten.”

John said: “This isn’t a vendetta against Chris. All we want out of this is to make sure the dog never does this to anyone again.”

The Thomsons then contacted their then MP John McNally and now the matter is being looked at again by both police and Falkirk Council.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We can confirm this incident was reported to police and officers attended. It was assessed at the time that no criminality had occurred.

“We are, however, aware concerns have been raised regarding this and therefore the incident is being reviewed. It would be inappropriate to comment further on this specific incident.”

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “We are naturally concerned to hear of any injury caused by an animal on a child and we hope they have a speedy recovery. We are investigating the incident and are working alongside the Police.”

The Falkirk Herald tried to talk to Mr Smith at his address on Monday, but the police officer would make no comment on the matter.