A young mum who needed surgery after being mauled by a dog in Parsons Green while visiting her parents is afraid to return there after the animal was handed back to its owners.
Brixhilda Shpendi said she suffered bite injuries and scratches to her arm, legs, buttocks, torso and thighs when the dog turned on her as she visited family in Peterborough Road.
As well as causing physical wounds, she says she has been suffering depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts since the incident, on November 13 last year.
And her problems have worsened after she learned the dog in question has been returned to its owners following a court hearing on April 6.
She said: “I don’t know how I’ll be able to visit my parents at their house again knowing the dog is there.”
The attack happened nearly three years after a man in Fulham was attacked by a dog which sunk its teeth into its victim for an agonising 40 minutes .
The 30-year-old had gone to see her parents with her husband and two-year-old daughter when she was attacked by a German Shepherd at around 8pm.
She said: “I stepped out the main door of the flat to get a bottle for my daughter, and a few feet away I saw the dog that was unleashed and was just let out of the owners' car boot.”
Mrs Shpendi moved towards her car when she saw the dog run towards her. “I was praying to God that the owners would rescue me before the dog ripped me into pieces," she said.
READ MORE: More than 20 hurt in Hounslow dog attacks
“I was pushed against the wall of the flat by the dog’s front paws. At the same time as he was barking non-stop he was reaching for my upper body and my face.
“He bit me on the left side of the belly-bottom, he bit me really bad on the left buttock, on the front side and side of the left thigh. My left knee was severely bruised too.”
During the one-minute ordeal the dog’s female owner was trying without success to tug it off Mrs Shpendi before the male owner succeeded.
After she alerted family, police were called and Mrs Shpendi went to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital where she was given a tetanus jab, antibiotics and had wounds cleaned and dressed.
However, infection set in and on November 22 a surgeon placed filters in two of her wounds to help clean it. These were removed three days later.
She ended up with eight or nine stitches in each of the two wounds, which were removed on December 23 and will leave permanently scarring.
'I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy'
But it is the mental anguish that is taking its toll on Mrs Shpendi “The effect this has had on me is much worse then I could have ever imagined. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
"Everywhere I need to go, I am scared to go on my own. I have to have someone with me.”
She worries when she sees a dog on the road and suffers regular nightmares which involve her daughter being mauled by a dog.
Her husband quit his job and now works nights so he can look after his wife and child, and Mrs Shpendi said: “I have daily break downs and feel suicidal at many times, and my self esteem is so down that I don’t think I can ever get my life back on track.”
She still take pain killers, anti-depressant tablets, has regular physiotherapy sessions and GP check-ups, and has also had counselling sessions.
And she says her recovery suffered a major set-back when a judge decided to return the pet to its owners after a sentencing hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on April 6.
She said: “I didn’t get any justice whatsoever. I won’t be able to visit my parents at their home knowing that dog is still there. How can I? I’m petrified.”
Las year owners of a Staffordshire bull terrier which mauled a poodle to death in Shepherd's Bush escaped prison .
* Susan-Katharine Vaughan was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on April 6 for charges relating to owning a dangerous and out of control German Shepherd named Max.
The 28-year-old received a 12-month community order to carry out 100 hours work. She was also told to pay court costs of £200, kennel costs of £1,975 and a £60 victim surcharge.
Conditions were also imposed which must be complied or the dog will be destroyed.
These include keeping the dog on a lead, wearing a muzzle when in public and attending dog training and obedience classes.