A Chorley mum has relived the moment her beloved pet dog was killed in front of her eyes by a Rottweiler.
Anne Newsham has spoken of her pain at trying to explain to her three daughters, Katelyn, aged eight, Aimee, five, and Lillie, four, why their King Charles Spaniel dog Leo won’t be coming home.
The family pet suffered horrendous injuries in the unprovoked attack in Eaves Lane last Monday.
Speaking for the first time about what happened Anne, who lives with her husband Charles and their children in Geoffrey Street, said: “I saw the rottweiler and thought that its owner must be nearby, but then it took one look at Leo and just went for him.
“I kicked at it, trying to get it off and it dropped Leo for a few seconds, but then it had him again and it was throwing it up in the air.
“I didn’t let go of Leo’s lead but his head slipped out of his collar and he was gone.”
She phoned her husband, but by the time he arrived on the scene the killer rottweiler had turned its attention to another of the family’s dogs called Harvey.
Anne said: “As soon as it realised there was no life left in Leo, I saw it go towards Harvey and I thought ‘No, I can’t lose two of them’ but by then Charles had got the rottweiler in a hold and Harvey had run home.”
Charles, 33, said: “When Anne called she was just screaming and my first thought was that one of the girls had been run over, but when I got to her I saw the dog and just grabbed it, I had its head in a hold and once I’d done that, it calmed down, but it was too late for Leo.
“Some blokes came to help and we tied the dog up in some webbing that someone got hold of, then the dog handler arrived and got the dog with a grabber and put it in the back of the van.”
Just minutes before the attack on Leo, eight-year-old Katelyn had taken her grandma’s dog, Fudge, for a walk.
Charles added: “The thought that keeps going through my head is that if Katelyn had been walking Fudge to her grandma’s a few minutes later, the dog could’ve gone for her. It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened.”
Police are still trying to trace the owner of the dog, which was not wearing a collar and had not been micro-chipped.
The black and tan rottweiler has a docked tail, which is a distinctive feature as this practice is no longer legal in the UK.
Anne said: “I just want the owner of the dog to stand in front of my children and tell them why Leo’s not coming home, and I want him to understand how hard it is for me to have to answer that question.
“I’m terrified to walk the dogs now. I went out the other day with Charles and I freaked when I saw another dog.”
Charles said: “The owner needs to come forward, there’s something that set that dog off that day and it has to be the owner’s fault.
“We don’t think people should be able to own dogs like this and we believe that licences should be brought back in, and tighter rules about who can own a dog.”
Leo had recently fathered six puppies with the family’s other King Charles Spaniel, Ruby.
The two-week-old pups are being cared for by Ruby, but Anne says she’s been deeply affected by the loss of Leo.
Anne said: “Ruby’s not been the same since the day of the attack, she just keeps going and lying under the table and doesn’t seem that interested in the puppies.”
Anne and Charles and the girls have laid Leo to rest in the back garden and are planning to plant a white rose in memory of their pet.
Anyone with information about the identity of the rottweiler’s owner is urged to contact police.
For the full story, see this week’s Chorley Guardian