The owner of a dog which killed a little girl’s cat says her pet is no danger.
Michelle Clark has apologised to the family of Mollie Tyrrell after her dog Floyd, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, bit the 10-year-old’s cat Maggie.
Miss Clark says the incident, which has also left her distressed, was a tragic accident and says it happened after Maggie had jumped into the back garden of her home in Raeburn Road, Whiteleas, South Shields.
She says Floyd, who was out playing with the 57-year-old’s other dog, Tulah, a nine-year-old Jack Russell, has never harmed a cat before.
She said: “I am devastated this has happened. Floyd has never done anything like this before. He’s a family pet.
“But my dogs were in their own garden, which is surrounded by a fence.
“The cat has, for whatever reason, come down into the garden, which is very unusual since the dogs were out playing. You would have thought that would have put it off.”
She added: “Floydchased it and bit it and the cat ran off. We saw it go back over the fence. It was alive when it left our garden.
“My dogs are always well controlled. They’re on leads when I take them out and I am very responsible.
“This has just been a tragic accident, there’s nothing I could have done to have prevent it.”
She added: “Cats kill birds all the time, this one has entered my dog’s territory and he’s just chased it and managed to bite it
“He hasn’t savaged it in the street or anything like that.”
It wasn’t until a few hours later - on Sunday, August 14 - that Miss Clark heard Mollie was looking for her pet cat that she realised it must be the same animal.
She said: “When I realised it was the same cat I was so upset. I went round to the family and apologised.
“I am an animal lover myself so I understand how awful it must be.”
Northumbria Police visited Miss Clark but have said no crimes have been committed.
Miss Clarke has also since spent £20 on a cat repellant to make sure no other felines enter her garden.
She said: “I bought the repellant to try and make sure this never happens again.
“But ultimately I am at a loss as to what else I can do.
“My pets are safe and secure but I can’t stop cats from coming into my back garden.
“But my dogs are lovely and play with my partner’s children and my niece all of the time, they’re very friendly.”
Maggie’s owner, and Mollie’s mum, Beverly Robson of Raeburn Road, was unavailable for comment.