Dog attack victim was ‘bubbly, bright’ little girl, says mother
The mother of Lexi Branson, who was killed by the family’s dog, said the four-year-old would “never be forgotten”
The mother of a four-year-old girl mauled to death by her pet dog described her daughter as a “shining star” who would “never be forgotten”.
Lexi Branson was killed by the family pet after being shaken like a “rag doll” while her mother Jodie Hudson tried to free her.
Police place floral tributes outside the home in Rowena Court in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire where Lexi Branson died after being bitten by a dog (PA)
Police confirmed they were investigating “all the circumstances” around the attack.
Dangerous dog owners currently face a maximum sentence of just two years but the Government has announced plans to increase this to 14 years in line with those convicted of death by dangerous driving.
She said: “There’s been a tragedy in the family. Lexi was a bubbly, bright little girl.
“She fought for her life from the moment she was born as she was born three months prematurely, she’s been taken from us so tragically.
“She will be sadly missed, she will be our shining star in the sky and she we will never be forgotten.”
Four-year-old Lexi Branson died of her injuries in hospital after being attacked by the dog
The young girl died after being attacked by the rescue dog at the family’s flat in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, on Tuesday.
She was rushed to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre but doctors were unable to save her.
Family friends said Ms Hudson, 30, had been told the dog was safe around children when she picked it up from the Orchard Kennels and Cattery, in Barrow-upon-Soar, Leics, two months ago.
The animal apparently attacked Lexi without provocation.
Neighbours claimed Ms Hudson was forced to stab the dog to try and stop the attack.
Police confirmed that the dog died shortly after the attack, which was reported to the emergency services at 12.14pm.
Paying tribute to Lexi, Glennis Goddard, who has lived in the street for 27 years, said: “She was a sweet little thing and used to run round here on a bike and knock on my windows.
“She used to play with our cats, outside. She wasn’t very big, only a little thin thing. It’s a terrible shock.”
Ms Goddard said the dog had been no trouble at all previously and could not understand why it had apparently turned.
She said she had been stroking the dog just two days ago after seeing it out with Ms Hudson.
“Something must have snapped him,” she said.
Arthur Nash, another neighbour, said: “Everybody is in shock at the moment.”
A spokesman for Orchard Kennels and Cattery said he could not comment while the police investigation was ongoing.
Leicestershire Police have launched an investigation into Lexi’s death.
A spokeswoman said: “In incidents of this nature police have to look at everything, the circumstances surrounding it and leading up to it.”
She added: “All the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation and are likely to continue to be investigated for the next few weeks.”
My Take On This Horrific Attack
Lexi Branson was mauled to death despite the desperate attempts of her mother Jodi Hudson to halt the attack at their flat in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire She was four years old.
Yet another sad and distressing case in the on-going problems we have with some of our dogs.
At the time of writing, It has not yet been confirmed what breed of dog this is. In the above report it is a bulldog.
If this is the dog that attacked and killed Lexi, then it is certainly not a purebred Bulldog.
In my role and an expert assessor of breed and under the dangerous act I come into contact with many crossbreeds.
Therefore just looking at the picture to the right suggests that it is a bulldog crossed with a staffie or boxer.
Why is it that the majority of these attacks involve crossbreeds?
Unfortunately with all this cross breeding we are often getting the worst traits of both dogs coming out.
In many other papers has suggested it is a Dogue du Bordeaux Also known as a French Mastiff that attacked.
The Police should confirm breed type as soon as possible, This will stop conjecture and allay the fears for the general public’s concerns for their own dogs and family.
The dog had apparently been sold by Orchard Kennels and Cattery in Barrow-upon-Soar. Did they not check who they were selling it to?
Lexi’s Mother Jodie Hudson lived in a one bedroom flat in housing association accommodation that does no allow dogs.
Lexi was only four years old. Surely anyone selling a rescue dog should be aware of the circumstances of the family before selling it to them?
Particularly a rescue dog. Is it now the case that rehoming overrides any other safety concerns?
I have written previous articles, that some of the centres are too strict. But on the face of it, this situation is the opposite. I believe the seller should be investigated.
Once again we will get calls for compulsory muzzling and more dogs added to the four banned breeds already on the BSL lists (Breed Specific Legislation)
I am not a fan of BSL I smacks of eugenics. The Nazis practiced that in the second World War against races of people. It was rightly classed as evil then why do we think it is OK to do the same thing to dogs?
I feel that to demonise a particular breed of dog for the actions of a few is wrong. Despite the fact I am an expert witness under the dangerous dogs act of 1991.
My personal belief is we aim the legislation at the wrong areas. The owners are always demonised. Yes they often have an important role to play. But the biggest culprits we have in the UK is the Breeders.
They often breed dogs for profit, not for the betterment of that breed. There are far too many crossbreeds sold for ludicrous money. Ten years ago these would have been called Mongrels.
The Breeders create these dogs often knowing that the parents have aggression or behavioural problems. The rescue centres that these poor dogs often end up in, are stretched to the limit.
Therefore my belief is breeding should be heavily regulated, as it is in other countries in particular the Scandinavian countries.
I am always being quoted the Mantra. “No Bad Dogs Only Bad Owners”. Coined by the late Barbara Woodhouse. I believe this is probably the most dangerous and inaccurate statement about dogs and their owners, ever written.
I see many good owners with bad dogs, and bad owners with good dogs. There are numerous reasons why we end with dogs with behavioural and aggression issues, including the biggest culprits of all, The Breeders.
Other people that have an impact includes trainers and behaviourists,, vets and the amateur experts on forums whose advice is often totally incorrect and frankly of dangerous.
It is time to look further than just both ends of the leash ( the dog and the owner). We must take charge of a situation that is rapidly spiralling out of control. To do this we must heavily licence the source of these dangerous dogs. That means a very close look at the breeding practices in the UK.
Stan Rawlinson November 6th 2013