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Former Dover mayor's finger is ripped off by dog

A Labour councillor, whose little finger was ripped off by a pit bull when she posted a newsletter through a door, has called for responsible dog ownership.

Former Dover mayor Pam Brivio, 71, pushed the literature through the stiff letterbox of a terraced house in Tower Hill on Friday, September 11, when the dog “threw itself” forward, biting off half her finger and swallowing it.

She said: “I first saw it when the consultant examined the hand and briefly after the operation, and I was shocked to see the damage.

Labour candidate Pam Brivio.
Labour candidate Pam Brivio.

“To be honest it all seemed a bit unreal, I suppose that is the shock.

“It has been quite traumatic and I have been concentrating on getting better.

“It is healing nicely now and I feel now is the time to step back and to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“I would not want anyone else to experience such an injury.”

A warrant was carried out at the address afterwards, where the dog was seized and put down, the police have confirmed.

A spokesman said: “The dog was identified as being a prohibited breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

“No one has been arrested yet but inquiries are continuing.”

Cllr Brivio said there were no “beware of the dog” signs or anything to suggest the presence of a dog.

She spent the rest of the day between Buckland Hospital and the Kent and Canterbury Hospital, getting X-rayed.

The next day she had to travel to East Grinstead, where the remaining part of her finger was stitched up.

Pam Brivio's little finger was ripped off by a pit bull when posting a newsletter through a door
Pam Brivio's little finger was ripped off by a pit bull when posting a newsletter through a door

Cllr Brivio has kept the Mercury informed with her recovery and was able to stop wearing a sling about two weeks ago.

She said that this was not an isolated incident and that other colleagues within the council have also been nipped when leafletting.

It is also believed that the area’s postman has been cautious in the past when delivering mail at two addresses within the Tower Hamlets ward.

The mother-of-three said: “What I did think of doing was going to dog agencies to see if it was possible to have some sort of campaign to protect people started.”

Cllr Brivio said she may get in touch with organisations such as the RSPCA or Dogs Trust to enforce an awareness drive and to see what can be done.

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