Pensioner traumatised after attack on pet dogs


A Banbridge pensioner has been left in shock after a vicious attack on two Miniature Yorkshire Terriers she was walking left her own dog, Toby, dead and her granddaughter’s dog, Toto, seriously injured.

Hazel McDowell was on her way to collect her granddaughter from Banbridge Academy on Monday, October 12 when the attack happened at Ballymoney Hill.

Daughter-in-law Carol McDowell said: “Hazel is extremely traumatised by the whole ordeal, suffering flash-backs everytime she closes her eyes.

“She has lost her mate - Toby stuck to her like glue and went everywhere with her.” Describing the harrowing events, Carol said Hazel was unaware of any danger until she felt a tug at Toby’s lead and turned to see two Staffordshire Bull Terriers attacking.

She beat the dogs off, but they turned on Toto running onto the road with him and forcing a driver to an abrupt stop.

The driver phoned for police and also an ambulance, fearing that Hazel had been injured as she was covered in so much blood.

A man also came out of a near-by house and enclosed the Staffordshire Bull Terriers in his back garden before rushing Hazel and the injured dogs to the vet.

Apart from bruising on her hands and legs Hazel was not injured, but both dogs had sustained serious injuries.

Toby was the worst hurt, and was unconscious by the time he arrived at the vets.

He had lost an eye and his jugular was severed. Tragically he died through the night.

A blood clot revealed that Toto had punctured lungs where his chest had been savaged. He also had broken ribs and needed stitches round the back of his head, neck, under his chin and down his front,

Carol said: “Toto was the runt of the litter and still so small you could fit him into your hand.

“He was just ripped open.

“He hasn’t been eating or drinking since the attack and we’ve been giving him water via syringe. He’s like a wee new born lamb. He’s on fluids, antibiotics and pain killers now.”

Toto has also had difficulties walking as his front legs give out due to muscle damage. He can also barely bark due to the damage.

The family who have owned the dogs for over seven years, are heartbroken.

Meanwhile a council spokesperson has said one of the dogs involved has since been put down.

“The council are fully aware of the incident and attended the scene soon after the attack was reported. It is an offence for a dog to attack and injure another dog and the council have been gathering evidence and taking statements in relation to this incident.

“When the investigation is complete the council will decide on the most appropriate action. Options include fixed penalties, formal caution or legal proceedings.

“We are aware that the dog which attacked the other dog has been put down and the second dog which accompanied it is now being kept in more secure surroundings.