The mother of a 4-year-old girl who was savaged by a pitbull terrier has hit out at the actress Brigitte Bardot, who has called for the dog's life to be saved.
The dog, which was handed over to the local council in Boulogne-sur-Mer by its owners, is due to be put down after the savage attack last month that left the child, Carmen, with injuries to her forehead, eyes and ears. Her nose was also badly damaged.
Despite the attack, Bardot, who runs an animal rights foundation, said the dog should not be killed and wrote to the town's mayor to criticise its now solitary living conditions.
"We need to release this dog from hell," Bardot told the French newspaper La Voix du Nord. "He's in total isolation; he sees no one."
But Bardot's concerns for the dog have not gone down well with Carmen's parents.
"It's unacceptable," her mother said. "[Bardot is] just there to defend the dog and she does not have the right to play down my daughter's injuries. My daughter tells me every day that she looks like a monster."
The And God Created Woman star argued that, having ended the death penalty for people, France should also stop putting animals to death.
She said solitary confinement could send the dog, known as Prince, mad or make it simply give up and die.
The mayor responded to Bardot's letter by inviting her to visit Boulogne-sur-Mer to see the quality of the dog-house.
The dog's owner - identified only as Johnny - and the parents of its victim have started legal proceedings against the Society for the Protection of Animals. They say they were not told about an incident last September where the dog partially devoured the corpse of its owner, who had died of natural causes.
The dog's defenders said that was a survival instinct and, at the time, police classed him as "necrophagous by necessity".
On the SPA website, Prince was described as "a good sort, easy to get on with" but not recommended for people with families.
The SPA said it told the new owner about the previous incident, but the owner denied that.
- IndependentBy Molly Guinness