A YOUNG girl died yesterday after being savaged by two Rottweiler
Eleven-year-old Kelly Lynch, of Cotton Road, Dundee, was attacked as
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she and a friend, Lorraine Simpson, walked the dogs beside the Eckaigh
river, near Sandbank, Dunoon.
The girl, who was visiting family friends at the Cot House Inn, was
found to be dead on arrival at Dunoon General Hospital.
The two girls had been out for most of yesterday and were returning to
the hotel, owned by Lorraine's father Mr Brian Simpson, between Kilmun
For no apparent reason Mr Simpson's two pet dogs turned on the two
girls, savaging Kelly.
Lorraine ran for assistance, and a local woman came to the girl's aid
but it was too late.
Mr Simpson, Lorraine, and the local woman, who has not been named by
police, were also taken to the local hospital for treatment for shock,
but were later released.
The woman who had bravely tried to calm down the dogs suffered cuts to
her hands. It is believed she works at the Cot House Inn.
Police said inquiries were continuing and a report would be submitted
to the procurator-fiscal.
The two dogs were later put down by Dunoon vet Mr Tony Black.
He said: ''Most Rottweilers that I know I have never had any trouble
''But every vet in the country knows that with Rottweilers, Dobermans
and Alsatians, and guard dogs in general, you always have to be a bit
careful because you know what they can do.
''Most such dogs don't give you any hassle, but you are always that
''It is the first time I have been involved in anything like this in
the area. I am shattered, and everybody in the whole area is
It is understood that Kelly and Lorraine were on holiday at the hotel.
Mr Simpson has owned the small hotel for several years and breeds
Rottweilers in kennels nearby.
Mr Simpson is estranged from his wife, who lives in Dundee with their
son Brian and Lorraine, who was visiting him.
Last night Mr Simpson was under sedation. A family friend, who met
callers at the door, said: ''He is absolutely shattered by all of this.
It is too awful to understand how these two pet dogs who had never shown
any signs of temper should turn on the two girls.
''They had been out for a walk, had gone to buy sweeties and then gone
over by the river. It seems that they were attacked near an old gravel
pit which is about a mile from the hotel.
''No one can understand it. I have never seen the dogs showing any
signs of temper. My children were playing with them this morning.''
Kelly, a pupil of Our Lady's Primary School in the Hilltown area of
Dundee was described as a ''cute, popular'' girl.
A shopkeeper near the family home in Dundee said: ''She used to come
in here every day at 4pm after school. Everybody liked her, and we are
all desperately shocked.''
She and Lorraine were due to return to Dundee this weekend to start
school on Monday.
Kelly's father was last night travelling to Dunoon, while her mother
was under sedation at the family home. Kelly was one of three children,
with brothers Kevin, 17, and Craig, seven.
Relatives were last night arriving at the family home to offer comfort
to her distraught mother.
At Kilmun, villagers expressed shock at the incident.
A local hotelier said: ''As far as we know, the girls were exercising
the dogs. One of the girls stopped for a short time.
''The other girl ran for help and a woman heard them and went to help.
Everyone is shocked.''
A shopkeeper in Sandbank added: ''I had seen the little girls earlier
on in the day walking with the two big dogs. They had come in to buy
some sweeties and they seemed quite happy.
''It is hard to understand how this awful thing could have happened
during a walk like this.''
Rottweilers are large, strongly built dogs, which are popular guard
dogs, and in some countries have been used as police dogs.
The RSPCA last night warned parents of the dangers of owning powerful
dogs like Rottweilers.
''Rottweilers are big and powerful dogs and can be very dangerous in
the hands of inexperienced people. Parents should be aware of how strong
these animals can be,'' said RSPCA spokesman Mr Gavin Grant.
In 1987, there were reports of a 13-year-old boy who underwent
emergency surgery after being bitten by a Rottweiler, and in another
incident, a 10-year-old girl was badly injured in a Rottweiler attack in
Last year, the owner of two Rottweilers was jailed for four months
after being convicted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of assaulting a barmaid
and bar manager by ordering the dogs to bite them.
Meanwhile, it was disclosed yesterday that officials from the RSPCA
have held talks with the Home Office in an attempt to ban the aggressive
American-bred Pit Bull Terrier in Britain.
Pit Bull Terriers have been used in illegal dog fighting since they
were introduced in the UK 10 years ago.