A PREGNANT woman was taken to hospital after being savaged by a dog.

Kerry Armstrong, 27, of Canterbury Avenue, Southend, suffered injuries to her face, arm and back when she was attacked by the Staffordshire bull terrier while trying to save her Pomeranian dog Gizmo at 8am on Friday.

The dog jumped over her fence and began attacking Gizmo, which prompted Mrs Armstrong’s intervention.

She was scratched on the side of her face, then, as she turned away, the dog jumped on her back and scratched and bit her left forearm, leaving puncture wounds.

The dog finally let go when Mrs Armstrong’s mother, Kim Flower appeared with a frying pan.

Paramedics were called and Mrs Armstrong was taken to Southend Hospital, where her forearm was bandaged, though it could not be stitched because of the potential risk of infection from bacteria from the dog’s mouth.

She also underwent scans to make sure her baby had not been harmed, which came back fine.

She said: “At the time of the incident, my main concernwas saving my dog. It was only in the ambulance, when I started getting contractions, I thought ‘oh no, what have I done?’ “I was relieved when they told me my baby was fine after doing the scans and ECG.

“Since the incident, I just can’t get to sleep without replaying it in my head. I am six months pregnant and it was just horrible.”

She was disappointed at the amount of time the police took to respond, adding the ambulance service had called the police at the time of the incident, while further calls were made at 10.45am and 3.30pm, when she returned from hospital, but nobody responded.

Police officers finally attended on Saturday evening, 36 hours after the attack, and have spoken to the owner of the terrier about the possibility of rehoming it.

Mrs Armstrong said: “I just can’t understand why they did not send someone out earlier.

“When they arrived, the officers said if it was any consolation, they had not had a break all day.

“They said there was no budget and no staff to cover.”

Police: We had to prioritise the call

SUPERINTENDENT Steve Johnson, of Essex Police said: “We are called to 1,200 incidents every day and have the capacity to respond to about half of that number.

“We must prioritise the calls we attend, to make sure that those who are in gravest danger, at risk or vulnerable are seen first. In this case we were initially contacted by the ambulance service who informed us the dog involved had returned to its owner’s address.

“There was no immediate threat and the victim was receiving treatment.

“Officers attended as soon as they were able to, given their other commitments to missing people inquiries, road traffic collisions, reports of domestic abuse, burglaries, public disorder and assaults.

“An investigation has begun into the incident and officers have spoken to all parties involved."