Great-grandmother Mary Timpson, 83, has been left heartbroken after her beloved dog was mauled to death by a vicious Japanese Akita in a Leeds park.
The horrific scene unfolded as she was walking her two-year-old Maltese-Yorkshire terrier cross Joey in East End Park.
The brave pensioner tried to fend the vicious larger animal off. But despite her attempts to save Joey, he suffered fatal injuries.
She and her family are now calling for tougher controls and punishments for irresponsible dog owners.
“I’m absolutely devastated. My fingers are all cut because I tried to hang onto the lead,” Mrs Timpson said. “I can’t tell you how I feel inside, I just wish I could have saved him.”
Mrs Timpson, of East Park View, had Joey on a lead when she went into the park on the afternoon of Friday, February 12. The Akita was not on a lead and was unaccompanied.
“The dog ran straight for him and picked him up in his mouth,” she recalled. “I held onto the lead and shouted, but he wouldn’t let go. He was pulling him and I had to let go.”
Another dog walker distracted the larger dog, who dropped Joey. Mrs Timpson called her son, Terry, who took their dog to a vet, but it was too late to save him.
Mr Timpson said: “I’m absolutely livid and I’m heartbroken for my mum. She will never recover from that – I don’t have any doubt about it. She’s absolutely devastated.”
It is believed the same dog had carried out a similar attack just days earlier and the owner had already been warned about keeping it under control.
The incident happened less than half a mile from where 27-year-old Emma Bennett was mauled to death by her own dogs in December 2013.
“The dog needs to be destroyed – it’s not safe,” Mr Timpson said. “The issue of dangerous dogs hasn’t been addressed since that woman died near here. People shouldn’t be allowed to have dogs if they can’t control them. Maybe dog licences should be brought back.”
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The incident is currently under investigation and we have contacted the owner of the dog who will be interviewed. The owner has also been given clear advice about securing their property and ensuring the dog is muzzled.”
Akitas are not banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act, but owners can be prosecuted if a dog is allowed to be dangerously out of control in public.