Dog-on-dog attack leaves puppy dead in Ottery St Mary
PUBLISHED: 20:00 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:25 18 May 2018
A teenager has been speaking about the moment her puppy was grabbed by another dog and shaken to death near the Land of Canaan park in Ottery.
The attack happened as 18-year-old Shannon Newman was on an evening stroll with the family pet Chewy, a six-month-old Shih Tzu.
The dog – named after the Star Wars character Chewbacca - was approached by another dog, initially described as a white ‘Staffordshire bull terrier’ type, which was not on a lead.
Shannon, who is doing veterinary studies in Exeter, said: “The dog came over and it didn’t show any signs of being aggressive and sniffed my dog - and then in a split second it started chasing him, because my dog ran towards me, and grabbed him by the body and threw him into the air.
“I pulled him towards me, but the other dog had hold of him.
“He just looked like a rag doll being shaken.”
The man who was with the other dog pulled Chewy out of its mouth, but it was already too late.
Shannon added: “I was in shock. It happened so quickly I just froze. I tried to move and grab him but I couldn’t. When he was on the floor he went still and he looked up at me and I told him it was going to be OK. I was holding his head in my hand. He made a whine and then he went quiet and still. I was praying on the way to the vet that he wasn’t…I knew, but I didn’t want to believe it.”
The attack happened on Wednesday, May 9, at 5.30pm on the path between Land of Canaan and the bridge that leads to it, just outside the dogs-on-lead zone. Police and a council officer visited the other dog’s owner and the animal was taken away for assessment.
A spokeswoman for East Devon District Council said: “A joint visit has been carried out involving Devon and Cornwall Police and one of our technical officers. In view of the seriousness of this matter, the police officer has taken the lead on this case.”
Police have since removed the animal from its owner while checks are made about the legality of the dog’s breed.
A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesman said: “Due to the possibility of the dog involved being a banned breed, this animal has been seized from its owner, who resides in Ottery.
“Specialist officers will now conduct a thorough examination, and enquiries continue into this matter.”
Shannon’s mother, Angie Davis, said: “They may get their dog back but we won’t ever get that chance.”