Family’s anguish over dog death in attack horror

Yorkshire Terrier Rigsby

Yorkshire Terrier Rigsby - Credit: Archant

A FAMILY who were holidaying near Sidmouth have been left traumatised and grief-stricken after their dog was killed in an ‘horrific’ attack.

Tiny Yorkshire terrier Rigsby was mauled by another dog from the Constancia stud farm as his owners, Janet and Wayne Mendham, took an evening stroll along the public coast path at Dunscombe Manor.

The couple, who were visiting from Leicestershire with their grandson Henri, were horrified when Rigsby was grabbed and violently shaken by one of the farm’s two guard dogs.

Mr Mendham managed to get the dog to drop the terrier, while the other was bravely kept at bay by 12-year-old Henri.

Rigsby died of his injuries as the family desperately rushed him to the vets.

Mrs Mendham said that a gate leading in to the stud farm was open and is angry the two guard dogs, a labrador-rottweiler mix and a poodle, were not restrained.

Their owner has expressed her distress at the incident - but said the pet should have been kept on a lead.

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Mrs Mendham said: “At a weight of 4lb, Rigsby did not stand a chance and he did not deserve to have this life cut short in such a horrific way.

“We have been left traumatised and grief stricken and will be haunted for the rest of our lives by the memory of witnessing this.

“Rigsby has been our constant, much-loved companion. We had him as a puppy, expecting that he would grow old with us.

“We miss him more than words can say.”

Silva Bedding, owner of the stud farm, said that she felt ‘utterly distraught’.

She added: “I feel so sorry for them because I love animals; I work with them every day.

“But they should have had their dog on a lead - there are signs warning that there are guard dogs and horses about.”

She added: “I’ve had dogs since I was a child – I don’t think I am irresponsible.

“I have had problems before with people just walking on to the farm to look at my horses so the dogs are here to try to stop that – this is a working farm, it’s my livelihood.”

The Menham family were staying at the Dunscombe Manor caravan park near Salcombe Regis.

A police spokesman said the incident, which happened at 8.30pm last Thursday, was being investigated.