A FAMILY pet was set upon by a notorious dog in the middle of Stow-on-the-Wold, its dismayed owners claimed yesterday. But they have been prevented from taking action to safeguard other animals.
The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, watched with horror as an unleashed Staffordshire bull terrier sunk its teeth into the neck of their West Highland terrier behind the Talbot Pub, off The Square.
Their dog was injured yet luckily survived.
The husband said: “Our hands are tied because of the interpretation of the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act requires this dog must first injure a person before a prosecution can be brought.
“We want to safeguard other people’s pets. Talking to people in Talbot Court I discover there have been a number of incidents of savaging by a dog of the same description, on Well Lane, on the cricket field, on the school field and in Maugersbury Lane.
“We believe the dog is also allowed to be loose in two other local pubs.
“But all we can do is ask police to extract full recompense for the damage inflicted and an assurance the dog will be muzzled and on a lead at all times in any public place.”
Reliving his ordeal, he said the aggressive dog attacked his at 6.30pm on Sunday, December 12.
“His jaws were around our little dog’s neck and there was much growling with him yelping loudly,” he said.
“We shouted to try and attract the attention of people who were the pub’s rear door.
“The dog’s owner swore and tried to grab it, still holding his beer glass.
“I attempted to pull my Westie’s body away from the animal which refused to release his grip.
“My wife screamed and the owner, realising it would not let go, grabbed the animal more securely, the beer glass went to the floor and smashed.”
The husband said that the owner had apologised and told him “your dog is as good as gold”.
He also claimed the two animals were “just sniffing at each other”, he said.
He reported the incident to police 15 minutes later.
He added: “Our Westie had one very, very obvious deep puncture wound on his neck and an area where hair had been ripped away of about two sq ins.
“If we’d not separated the dog from the pit bull, he would not have survived.”
The vet’s bill was £36.35.
Sgt Martin Jones confirmed police could only take legal action under the Act.
However, the owner of the Staffie had been advised to keep his dog under proper control or Cotswold District Council environmental wardens could step in.
If people were concerned about dangerous dogs they must contact police on 0845 090 1234.