Police have launched an investigation to trace the owners of a dog which mauled to death a Yorkshire terrier in front of its owner.
Debbie Latimer says she has has been left ‘devastated’ after watching her beloved pet Fergus killed just weeks after losing her other pet to cancer.
Debbie had taken the seven year old dog for his daily walk on Northchurch Common on Saturday afternoon when he was fatally attacked by a ‘bullmastiff-type dog’ which was off its lead.
The attack left little Fergus with multiple injuries including punctured lungs.
Debbie’s attempts to beat off her pet’s attacker with a metal lead and its owner’s use of a ‘shock collar’ proved futile.
She reported the incident to police who have begun making enquiries, but wanted her story to serve as a warning to other dog owners.
Describing the ordeal, Debbie said: “I encountered a lady with two black Labradors off lead and a bullmastiff-type dog on lead.
“My dog adored big dogs and played with the Labradors. I continued my walk onto Northchurch Common.
“I turned at one point to look back at the woods. The mastiff was now off lead and was charging towards us.
“Assuming the dog to be friendly, although huge, I let the two dogs interact . In seconds the mastiff bitch had my dog in her mouth and proceeded to bite him to death.
“Despite my cries for the lady to help she stood several yards away pressing a form of remote control which was supposed to send a shock to the attachment on her dog’s collar.
“This had no effect whatsoever.
“I hit her dog continually with a metal lead to no avail. Eventually she came to me and put her dog on lead.
“My dog was dead.”
Two other dog walkers helped Debbie carry Fergus to their car and subsequently to the vet who pronounced him dead.
An emotional Debbie recalled: “He had numerous bite marks, internal bleeding and punctured lungs.
“I had only scattered my other dog’s ashes last week. I lost him to cancer.”
To make matters worse Fergus was ‘technically’ Debbie’s daughter’s dog and she had to pass on the tragic news to her while she studies for her university finals in Birmingham .
Debbie said the owners of the dog told her they were going to have their dog destroyed but had not had it confirmed.
She added: “I would like other dog owners to be made aware of this incident.
“Please do not always assume a dog off lead to be friendly.
“If her dog had been muzzled this tragedy would not have happened.
“I am only relieved that it was my dog and not my granddaughter who was killed.
“I am devastated.”
Anyone who witnessed the incident, or saw dogs matching the stated description around the time of the incident, should contact PC Andrew Blackwood on the police non-emergency number 101, citing reference D2/14/360.