DOG control officers told the police to leave for their own safety before tackling a "dangerous" Alaskan Malamute that put two kennel staff members in hospital for more than a week.

The Fife Council workers were off duty when called to help deal with the aggressive animal, which took 20 minutes to get under control and later had to be put down.

Dawn Jamieson, safer communities manager, told the City of Dunfermline area committee it was a "serious incident".

She said: "The two kennel staff remained in hospital for over a week and required numerous surgical procedures to help them to recover from their injuries."

The council workers were asked to help after two members of staff were attacked by the dog at an unnamed kennel in West Fife.

There are currently two full-time dog control officers in Fife, based at Halbeath and Glenrothes, and when they arrived, there was already two police officers, a police dog-handler and a member of staff present. 

Two other members of staff had already been taken to hospital by ambulance after being injured while trying to secure the Malamute.

After carrying out a risk assessment, including how and where they would secure the dog, the council officers removed all trip hazards, dried the floor and asked everyone else to leave the kennel area for their own safety.

After 20 minutes, they managed to contain it within a small kennel and bring in a vet.

Despite being sedated, the dog was "still acting aggressively" and they had to help the vet to restrain it.

Unfortunately, following assessment, the dog was destroyed humanely.

Larger and stronger than huskies, the Alaskan Malamute was originally bred to pull sledges and is described as "wolf-like" in appearance.

Ms Jamieson said: "It was a very unusual case and it doesn't happen on a regular basis, I can assure you.

"When they're off duty, they are very rarely asked to come in but they were contacted by the police and phoned their line manager to seek approval to offer that assistance.

"Both our officers have done this job for many years and are dog-lovers so they were probably best-placed to assist."

Cllr David J Ross said: "I understand there was already police dog-handlers there so why did the council become involved with this issue? Surely this was a dangerous dog and not a control issue?"

She replied: "This wasn't our usual run-of-the-mill type of case.

"It actually happened on a Saturday when our officers were off duty but they were contacted and asked if they could provide some assistance because the dog was out of control and running about in the kennels."

Ms Jamieson added: "It should be stressed that the dog involved in this serious incident was not a stray but an animal rescue dog being housed at a local kennel by private arrangement."