A SPANIEL owner was attacked by a “ferocious pit bull type” dog as he fought to wrestle his King Charles Cavalier from the animal’s jaws, a court heard.
Stephen Taylor, who ended up unconscious, suffered serious injuries to his hand, had to undergo a three-hour operation, spent four days in the Royal Preston Hospital and was off work for a month after the escaped dog sank its teeth into him and refused to let go. His pet, which he had been trying to rescue, had been savaged repeatedly and tossed into the air by the attacking dog, but survived. The victim, who had prised open the other animal’s mouth and freed the spaniel twice in the prolonged and frenzied onslaught in a Nelson street, had feared it was dead.
Pennine magistrates were told how police had to taser the offending dog twice to free Mr Taylor. The animal was so ferocious, officers were forced to asphyxiate it at the scene because a vet was delayed.
The dog’s owner, Rein Preem, was said to have been unaware it had been let out of his property by a friend. Preem, described by his solicitor as a dog lover, admitted owning a dog and allowing it to be dangerously out of control on Berkeley Close, with injury being caused, on May 19th
The defendant (56), of Percy Street, Nelson, a sculptor who has health problems and was said to have been on benefits 30 years, was given an eight-week curfew between 9 pm and 8 am and must pay £500 compensation. District Judge Peter Ward, who said the animal had not been involved in any previous incidents, did not disqualify Preem from owning or keeping dogs.
Mrs Philippa White (prosecuting) said Mr Taylor’s spaniel was wearing a harness, but was not attached to a lead, when they went out for a walk at 6-45 pm.
The offending dog, which Mr Taylor would say was too big to be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, seized his spaniel twice, but he got the animal to release its grip. It then took hold of the spaniel a third time, grabbing it by the face and shaking it by the ear. Mr Taylor again went to save his dog, put his legs on either side of the attacking animal and jumped on its back. The spaniel was thrown into the air and dropped and was again grabbed by the face.
Mrs White said as Mr Taylor tried to free his dog, the other animal got his hand in its mouth. The victim tried to open the dog’s jaws and shouted for help. A resident put a stool over the dog’s back to try and pin it to the floor. Police arrived and tasered the dog. The first time had no effect at all and on the second, the dog relaxed its grip on Mr Taylor and he was dragged away, momentarily losing consciousness.
The hearing was told Mr Taylor was taken to hospital by ambulance. He had suffered puncture wounds, cuts, deep lacerations and bites, had an operation and underwent physiotherapy.He was expected to make a full recovery. His spaniel had injuries to the mouth and gashes and treatment came to almost £200.
The prosecutor added an emergency vet had been called out by police to put the offending dog down, but there had been a two hour delay before a vet could attend. Officers had to asphyxiate the dog at the scene to get control, as it was so ferocious.
Miss Jasmine Basnyet, for Preem, said there had been no concerns about the dog’s temperament. It had regularly played rough and tumble with two children and had never shown any aggression towards people.
Miss Basnyet continued: “He loved this dog and had no inkling that at any point in the future it could attack anybody.” She said Preem was aware the animal could let itself out of the back gate. He thought it was lying upstairs in the sun, but some time later, realised it was not in the property. A friend had opened the back door and let the dog into the yard. Preem went to the police station and reported the animal missing. Officers put two and two together and realised the dog was responsible for the attack.
The solicitor said: “He is a responsible dog owner. He had never had any incidents with the dog in the past. He says it was a genuine mistake. He has apologised profusely. This was an unforeseen incident that occurred through the actions of a third party.”