Couple speak out after ‘horrendous’ Colne dog attack

DOG ATTACK: Sue Bryant-Lauder and Tom Sharples who were injured when a dog got in under their garden gate and attacked their cat Tara.'Photo Ben Parsons

DOG ATTACK: Sue Bryant-Lauder and Tom Sharples who were injured when a dog got in under their garden gate and attacked their cat Tara.'Photo Ben Parsons

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Distressed animal lovers have relived the terrifying moment that their pet cat was left injured in a “horrendous” dog attack.

By speaking out, Tom Sharples and his partner Sue Bryant-Lauder are hopeful that they will stop others from going through a similar ordeal and highlight a wider problem that is happening in Colne.

They are also calling for tougher laws on dog attacks on cats, and believe that owners should be made to keep their pet on a lead in a public place. They identified a “problem spot” as being the river footpath at the bottom of Wood Street, where they both live.

A border terrier forced its way into the garden of the couple’s home on Friday evening, and within seconds had cornered their cat Tara (5).

While attempting to separate the pair, Tom said he was bitten by the dog, who had hold of Tara’s right back leg.

Both Tom and Sue, who have been left with an initial pet’s bill of £400.62, were also scratched by their pet, who was trying to defend herself. Among other injuries, Tara suffered a complete tarsometatarsal luxation.

Sue, a part-time carer, said: “The attack was horrendous. The dog’s razor sharp teeth were right in Tara’s bone.

“She was left shaken, swollen and scratched. We want to highlight this, so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Coun. Tony Greaves has this week agreed that the issue of dog attacks is becoming a “major matter” that needs to be “completely stamped out”.

At the latest Colne Area Committee meeting, it was said that there are a number of young men in Colne who are hunting rabbits, hares, deer and foxes. Two lambs being killed at a Foulridge farm this month was also referred to.

Responding, Coun. Ann Kerrigan said: “This has been going on for some time and it is getting worse.”

Police said that it is currently the owner’s responsibility to keep their dog under control. If a cat is harmed or killed, then the owner could face prosecution.

Sgt Kim De Curtis, neighbourhood community sergeant for Colne, stated that police are aware of the Wood Street incident and are investigating the report. It has been highlighted to the RSPCA.

She added that police are working with the RSPCA, Police Wildlife Crime Department and other agencies to carry out an investigation into the dog situation in Colne.

David Walker, waste services manager at Pendle Council, added: “We do have a protocol for working in partnership with the police and continue to offer support to them where necessary.”

On Friday, May 10th, two dogs were seized from Hawley Street and on Tuesday morning two more were seized from a house in Duke Street.

Contact the Colne Neighbourhood Policing Team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.