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Kent Police probe after Strood woman Rachel Potter bitten by dog in Hawthorn Street

By Clare Freeman

An investigation is under way after a woman claims she was bitten by a dog while sunbathing in her garden.

Rachel Potter said she was in her garden on Hawthorn Road, Strood, when she was bitten on the arm by the animal on Monday afternoon.

She said her family are like "prisoners in our own home" after being targeted by the "American-looking pitbull terrier".

Rachel Potter was attacked by a dog in Strood
Rachel Potter was attacked by a dog in Strood

She said: "This could have been my children, grandson or friends.

"It [the dog] has got over into my garden numerous occasions.

"We are like prisoners in our own home and I can't even let my children in their own garden for the six weeks summer break through fear of our lives.

"The animal has bit a chunk in my arm and I fear for others now."

Speaking to the BBC, the dog's owner Denise Smith said she was very sorry for what had happened and that her dog must have been startled.

Ms Smith told the BBC that her dog, called Chase, was not vicious and was good around children.

"I've done my best to ensure he's not running wild," she said, "if I'd known there was a hole in the fence I would never have allowed him in the garden".

Police have powers under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to seize a dog immediately if the dog is dangerously out of control in police presence.

If this is not the case, the dog can be seized at a later date if it is proven to have been dangerously out of control during an incident under investigation.

Ms Smith said she had accepted that Chase could be taken away from her and possibly destroyed.

Police confirmed they were investigating an incident in Hawthorn Road, at around 1.30pm on July 21.

A spokesman said: "It is alleged a dog bit a woman who was sunbathing in her garden. The woman received hospital treatment for injuries to her arm."

She said: "Officers have visited both parties and have interviewed the owner of the dog under caution.

"Inquiries are ongoing and the victim will be kept updated as the investigation progresses."

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