A dog that caused bit a Northampton schoolgirl so hard that it's teeth touched her skull will not be destroyed, magistrates have ruled.
The girl was bitten by the pet - named Kimba.
Wellingborough Magistrates' Court heard that the girl - then aged six - had gone to hug Kimba.
But the dog did not like the attention and first growled at her then gave her a single bite to the head.
Andras Papp, of Baulmsholme Close, was later charged with being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog, with Kimba automatically facing the prospect of being put down.
But, although the court heard the girl needed 26 stitches in two separate wounds and is now frightened whenever she hears a dog bark, magistrates were persuaded by evidence from an animal behaviour expert.
Summing up the report, chair of the bench Amnada Robinson said: "The dog was either startled or a degree of pain had been caused [to him], however minor.
"There was no indication of inherent aggression."
The court instead decided on a contingent destruction order, which means Papp must adhere to certain conditions to prevent his pet being put down. The specific rules are that the dog must be on a fixed lead length and fitted with a muzzle in public places, and that he must be placed in a secure kennel or run when children visit Papp's house.
Papp was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service, pay £620 in costs and give the girl £500 in compensation.
Afterwards, the girl’s mum said: "I just want people to know that this dog is capable of biting a child and that they should beware."