A West Highland Terrier is “lucky to be alive” after he was mauled by two English Bull Terriers in an attack that left him with serious cuts and a dislocated leg.
Georgina Heffernan took her pet, called Jimmy, out for a walk on Purley Way Playing Fields when the attack took place at about 4.20pm on Wednesday (August 22), and it could take up to eight weeks before he makes a full recovery.
Georgina, who takes her dog for walks on the playing fields frequently, said she had never experienced violence between dogs before and it has left her “terrified”.
“[Purley Way Playing Fields is] always a nice place to walk, because all the dogs socialise, and lots of children enjoy going there because they get to pet dogs,” said Georgina.
“But now I’m terrified of taking my dogs out after what happened to Jimmy. We’ve had to fork out ÂŁ4,000 to pay for his vet bills.”
Georgina described how she spotted the two English Bull Terriers and their owner emerge from some trees around 500 yards away from her, and that the dogs “immediately made a bee line for Jimmy”.
She added: “The first one grabbed him around the neck and started pulling him away. He was just pulling him to bits.
“The owner ran over and kept apologising, jumping on top of his dog to try and stop it, but it would not let get go.
“I tried to grab its face to get it to stop, and eventually I had to put my hands in its mouth to free Jimmy. Thankfully a friend of mine was with me and she was able to grab Jimmy and run away to safety.
“The owner of the English Bull Terriers just walked to his car and drove off after that.”
Georgina immediately took Jimmy to the vet, where it was found that he had suffered a dislocated leg as well as a number of deep bites wounds.
“The vet explained that usually dogs with his level of injuries would have died, and that the leg injury in particular was very unusual and showed how vicious the attack was,” she said.
“I’m definitely not blaming the dogs. The owner should have better control over the animals.”
Thankfully, Jimmy is expected to make a full recovery following his surgery.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police said: “We were called at 6.24pm on Wednesday, August 22, to reports that a dog was bitten by two dogs on Purley Way Playing Fields.
“Officers have scheduled an appointment to speak to the victim on the evening of Friday, August 24. No arrests have been made.”
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We encourage responsible dog ownership and believe all owners should be able to keep their dogs under control when out and about.
“Anyone with concerns about their dog’s behaviour should contact their vet or a clinical animal behaviourist for help.
“The personality and temperament of a dog is much more complex than just its breed. Its down to the dog’s breeding and rearing as well as it’s early life experiences.
“Bull breeds, given the right home and care, can make wonderful family pets.”