Dog walkers want lawmakers to take a lead after an elderly woman was knocked over by a savage stray dog, which has left her pet seriously injured and her facing a near £1,000 emergency vet bill.
Grandmother Marion Barras, 76, was pulled off her feet as she tried to fight off a vicious Staffordshire bull terrier which rounded on her Yorkshire terrier during a stroll near North Marine Park, South Shields,
Her dog, Ollie, suffered puncture wounds to his head and neck while Mrs Barras was sent tumbling to the ice-covered ground during the attack.
She believes Ollie’s life was only saved by the intervention of a man who grabbed the black and brown bull terrier and dragged it away.
Mrs Barras is part of a group of dog owners who meet each day to exercise their dogs in the park, and they have backed her calls for action.
Her ordeal began at about 3.45pm on Saturday.
Ollie was rushed to vets and underwent an emergency procedure to drain blood from his chin – but Mrs Barras, a widow, has been warned his condition may deteriorate.
She has urged action to ensure owners are held accountable for their animals’ actions if they are let out to wonder the streets alone.
She said: “Ollie was on his lead and we had just left the park when this other dog pounced. It just grabbed him by the neck.
“Ollie was screaming. This dog wouldn’t let go. I was screaming ‘It’s killing my dog, it’s killing my dog’.
“A man came and grabbed this animal and pulled it away. If he hadn’t done that, I’ve no doubt Ollie would be dead. I picked up Ollie and knocked on the door of the nearest house, hoping they would help. I can’t thank them or the man who dragged the dog away, enough.”
“I hope the owner of this dog is found and prosecuted. If it was a child who had been attacked, he could easily have been killed.
One of Mrs Barras’ dog walking friends, Carol Coxon, 44, added: “The police will not get involved as it was dog-on-dog and the lady was not bitten. I think that this law is disgraceful.”
Last year, the Government rejected calls to add Staffordshire bull terriers to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Anyone with information about the incident can contact police by calling 101 quoting log number 678 020219.