A dog had its ear ripped off and suffered life-threatening injuries in what a Leeds vet has called the worst attack case he has seen.
Sally, a four-year-old border terrier, was lucky to survive after being savaged by three Staffordshire bull terriers in Roundhay Park.
Her left ear was torn off, veins in her neck were left exposed and she suffered multiple other wounds.
Simon Bate, the vet at Beechwood Veterinary Group in Chapeltown who treated her, said: “We have seen a number of these types of cases in Leeds, but this is probably the worst I have dealt with.”
The incident happened when Sally was taken for a walk by Sheila Hodgson, a friend of owner Christine Graham, on January 15.
Mrs Hodgson was talking to a woman walking the three other dogs when they attacked.
Mrs Hodgson said: “Two of them had Sally by the ears and one was at her behind.
“We both tried to get them off her but couldn’t. It was horrendous.”
After a long struggle Mrs Hodgson managed to free Sally and walk away but one of the dogs then returned for a second attack.
It was only after calling for help from another dog walker that she was able to end the ordeal.
Mrs Graham, 70, of Shadwell Lane, Shadwell, was on holiday at the time. She said: “I couldn’t believe it when I found out what had happened.
“She’s a really friendly dog – very submissive and wouldn’t hurt a fly. In some ways it’s a wonder they didn’t kill her instantly.
“When I saw her for the first time, a week after it had happened, she was more dead than alive.”
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act an owner can be prosecuted for allowing their animal to be dangerously out of control in a public place if it injures another animal, but such prosecutions are rare. Mrs Graham, who said Sally was recovering slowly, believes the law needs to be tightened.
“Nobody should have to go through this,” she said.
Yesterday the Government said all dogs would have to be microchipped from 2016, to cut the number of strays.
A legal loophole could also be closed, meaning owners could be prosecuted over attacks on private land.