Belfast Telegraph

Derry gran's heartbreak as pet mauled by bull terriers in park is put down

By Leona O'Neill

A family Shih Tzu savaged by two dogs in a children's park has died.

Four-year-old Ozzy was out for an evening walk with his owner Marie Doherty (63) at Iniscarn Park in Londonderry's Creggan estate last Thursday when he was set upon by two Staffordshire bull terriers.

As they attacked her beloved pet, Marie tried to beat them off with her walking stick while screaming for help.

Young children playing in the park were locked into a fenced area for their own safety as the dogs mauled Ozzy.

Police arrived and dealt with the dogs while Ozzy was rushed to a local vet.

He suffered puncture wounds all over his body and the damage to his front left leg was so severe he was to have it amputated this week.

On Saturday Ozzy was transferred to Earlswood Veterinary Hospital in Belfast to give him the best chance of survival.

However, when he arrived and was examined it was discovered that his kidneys were failing due to the severity of his wounds and his outlook was dire.

Marie was called to the vet yesterday morning where Ozzy passed away in her arms.

She said she is devastated.

"We had hope on Saturday that he might be OK," she told the Belfast Telegraph.

"He was still very heavily sedated and had only opened his eyes once on Saturday morning.

"We were told that the vet hospital in Belfast would give him the very best chance of survival.

"We wrapped him in his favourite blanket and we brought him up there in the car.

"But when he was examined they found that his kidneys were failing and that he couldn't fight the infections in his wounds.

"There were just too many of them.

"He had to be put to sleep on Sunday morning.

"I held him in my arms and told him how much he was loved by us all.

"Then he closed his eyes.

"It was absolutely heartbreaking. We were all crying our eyes out. It was the most horrific ordeal to have to go through after everything that had happened.

"I cried the whole way home from Belfast, my grandson was distraught and my son was blaming himself for not being there sooner when Ozzy was attacked."

The little dog's battle for life captured the hearts of people here.

A GoFundMe Page set up to help Marie pay the vet bills raised almost £3,000.

She said she couldn't thank people enough for their thoughts, prayers and support.

Marie added: "He is being cremated and I will bring his ashes back home next week so he will always be with me."

On Friday, Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed its dog warden had impounded two dogs at the scene of the incident and investigations were continuing.

Belfast Telegraph

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