A beloved pug was seriously injured in a vicious dog attack in Grantham’s Dysart Park, leaving the pet, its owners and a number of children who saw it in shock.
Lola, 3, was being walked through the park by owner Julie Walker when, out of nowhere, what is believed to be a mastiff cross wearing no collar or lead came racing over and grabbed the pug by the back of its neck.
Julie, 57, said: “It knocked me off my feet and viciously attacked my pug. It would not let go. I was panicking, trying to hit the dog in the face to get it to release her.”
A young woman, who was looking after the mastiff cross for a friend, managed to pull it away but, unable to hold on to it, the dog got free and then grabbed the pug by its lower back.
Julie said: “There were kids in the park and they were crying. I was battering that dog on the head to release the grip. Eventually, it let go.”
Julie was walking Lola and her other pug, eight-year-old Millie, on a double lead. Thankfully, Aimee Kemble, a friend’s granddaughter, was in the park and was able to free her and keep her safe.
The couple also thanked Kirsty Barwell, a fellow dog walker who was in the park at the time and saw what happened.
Following emergency surgery to treat the large gashes left by the dog’s teeth, Lola is recovering at the home Julie shares with her partner Kim, 51, in Primrose Way.
Julie said the dog’s owner told her it had managed to get free of its collar, and has promised to compensate the couple for the cost of vet bills. But it is the lasting psychological impact on Lola that they are most worried about, that and other dogs being hurt by the same animal. In a bid to warn dog owners, Kim has put up posters in the park.
She said: “People need to be aware. There’s always children in that park – that dog shouldn’t have been off the lead.”
The incident was reported to police – but the couple were horrified to learn that dog attacks on other dogs cannot be prosecuted in a criminal court and are instead classed as a civil matter. However, officers are investigating as Julie was knocked off her feet and feared for her own safety.
She said: “I’ve felt scared to go back in that park since. I don’t know what Lola might do – she might sense the danger if we go in the park again.”
She added: “I would like to say a big thank you to people that helped, especially Aimee for her brave approach. She was very sensible.”