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A baby aged 18 months was savaged by a dog in an attack that missed her eye by just millimetres.

Kelsie Male was left traumatised after being bitten on the face and had to be rushed to hospital.

The tot was thrown back onto the pavement after an Alsatian-cross lunged and sunk its teeth into her face.

Her mum Sophie Garth, 28, who was a few steps behind, desperately ran to her aid.

At the hospital, doctors said she Kelsie lucky to have only suffered minor physical injuries – but her parents say the incident has left her deeply shaken.

The family, from Portland, Dorset, said the girl has not been sleeping well after the attack and is “jumpy” around both people and other dogs.

Stay-at-home mum Sophie, also parent to Kelsie’s siblings Madison, eight, and Kayden, six, said: “Watching that dog go for my daughter is a sight that will sadly never leave me and I can still hear her crying when I close my eyes.”

She said the dog came out of nowhere and “sent her flying off the curb” onto the floor.

The mum added: “It was awful seeing her in so much pain as she is such a lovely little girl with a big heart.

“Thankfully her injuries are mainly recovered now, but the situation could have been so much different if the dog bitten just millimetres higher on her face and got her in the eye.

“But she’s still traumatised – she wakes up in the night crying, she gets jumpy around everyone and she doesn’t want to be left alone.”

Sophie and partner Stuart Male, 33, were out for a walk with their three children when the attack took place on April 24.

Police attended the scene but no arrests were made.

The dog was believed to be owned by a visiting friend of one of the street’s residents.

As Sophie and Stuart, a scrap metal dealer, rushed their “hysterical” daughter to Weymouth hospital, they said Kelsie’s face and mouth were bleeding and she had bruises all over her back from the fall – but fortunately doctors said she’d be fine.

Sophie added: “She had blood over one side of her face but I was so scared to touch her in case I hurt her or caused it to get infected.

“She cried for hours without stopping – I will never be able to forget the sound of those cries.”

While Sophie said her injuries are now mostly healed, Kelsie has been now doesn’t like to be left alone, gets nervous around people, and wakes up in the night “screaming the house down”.

The tot, who was once an enormous ‘Paw Patrol’ fan, has also been left very wary around big dogs – and was “petrified” after seeing a guide dog on the bus the following day.

Sophie said: “What happened that day will never leave my memory – my beautiful little girl was bitten for no reason.

“You never expect this kind of thing will ever happen to your child, she is such a lovely girl, she has a big heart, and she was a huge animal-lover before this.

“She’s incredibly lucky that the dog missed her eye or this could have been so much worse, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

“We’re just praying that she will get over the trauma and go back to how she was before.

“I just want this to be a warning to other parents to be wary letting their children near dogs you don’t know – you can never be sure what might happen and it’s not worth the risk.”

A police spokesman said: “Dorset Police received a report at 5.50pm on Saturday April 24 that a young child had been bitten in the face by a dog on Vindelis Way on Portland.

“The child was taken to hospital for treatment to cuts on their face. The injuries are not believed to be serious.

“Enquiries are underway into the incident to establish the full circumstances of what happened. No arrests have been made at this time.”