Dog savaged in Ilfracombe beach attack

Joseph Bulmer

Woman’s pet almost killed as she walks him on beach

AN Ilfracombe woman has called for a crackdown on dangerous dogs after her own pet was savaged in an horrific attack on Wildersmouth Beach that left one leg hanging by a thread.

Pauline McFarland was walking her Pomeranian dog Chesney on the beach with a friend Eileen Whetter and her dog when he was attacked by a much bigger animal, unaccompanied and thought to have been an English bull terrier.

As the terrifying scenario played out, four-year-old Chesney was first bitten on the leg before being seized by the throat and shaken, as his scared owner desperately tried to get the bigger dog off him and her pet screamed in agony.

After what seemed like an eternity of horror for Pauline, the small group of people who had gathered were able to drive the attacking dog away.

“I thought Chesney was dead, his eyes were so glazed and there was blood everywhere,” she said.

“The dog had bitten through both bones in his right front leg and it was literally hanging by the skin and flapping around, it was awful.

“Christine at the Wheel Inn was really helpful, she found out what vets were open and called a taxi for me. On the way Chesney was in agony and crying - he was very distressed. He had blood coming from his ear, puncture wounds around his nose, face, neck and chest and the blood vessels around his eye had ruptured. He was covered in saliva, sand and grit.

“I was so frightened he would die. Eileen and I were sobbing and shaking.”

A desperate dash to Charter Vets at Mullacott resulted in the little dog’s leg being pinned back together, but three weeks later he is battling infection and may yet lose his leg.

Pauline has heard of other attacks - she wants people to be aware the rogue bull terrier could still be around and has urged anyone attacked or threatened by a dog to contact the North Devon Council dog warden or the police.

“I’m frustrated that I didn’t know there was potentially a vicious dog around that area,” she said.

“I’m concerned the dog is still loose – we’re coming up to Easter, people use the area with their children and tourists visit with their dogs. I don’t want it to end up hurting a child and I don’t want any other dogs attacked.

“I want people to be aware when walking their dogs and they need to report any incidents to the dog warden and the police.”

Pauline has only had the good natured rescue dog for a few weeks after she got him from the Dogs Trust and without the pet insurance that came with him she would be facing a bill of more than �3,000.

Carl Williamson, Environmental Health Technician at North Devon Council said:

“The council is cracking down on irresponsible dog owners and we have increased our patrols around the district. We urge people to report any dog incidents to the council, whether this is dog fouling or dangerous dog behaviour. Contact our Customer Service Centre on (01271) 388870.”