Belfast Telegraph

Derry woman tells of terror as pet dog fights for life after being mauled by two bull terriers in children's play park

Warning: Some readers may find details in this article distressing.

By Leona O'Neill

A Londonderry pensioner has spoken of her terror after two vicious dogs mauled her family Shitzuu while they took their evening stroll through a children’s play park.

Marie Doherty (63) from the Creggan Estate, was walking her four-year-old family dog Ozzy through the park at Iniscarn Road when they were attacked by two Staffordshire bull terriers. As they attacked her beloved pet, she tried to beat them off with her walking stick while screaming for help.

Toddlers and young children playing in the nearby park were locked into a fenced area for their own safety as the dogs mauled Ozzy within sight. Armed police arrived and dealt with the vicious dogs while Ozzy was rushed to a local vets.

He has lost a leg and is not expected to survive the night.

Marie Doherty with a picture of her four-year-old dog Ozzy. Credit: Leona O'Neill

Grandmother Marie says she tried her best to save her dog from the vicious animals and almost had an asthma attack due to the fright.

“I was walking my dog Ozzy as usual after 7pm,” she said. “A girl called me and said that her dogs were friendly, to let mine off the lead. Next thing her dogs came over to mine and were playing around Ozzy and he was crying and squealing. I shouted at their owner to get them, she said that they were only playing.

"Then I saw blood on Ozzy’s ear and his mouth and her dogs were growling and biting. She was shouting at her dogs to get back and I had a walking stick and I was hitting them to get them off my Ozzy.

"I started to scream to people in the playpark to help me, they were mauling Ozzy. I have COPD and I was so frightened I thought I was taking an asthma attack. It was awful.

"Ozzy’s blood was all over the footpath. I had to run to my house outside the park and got my son.

"He ran down and the owner of the two bull terriers was actually sitting on Ozzy to keep her own dogs from attacking them. Her arms were all bitten.

"The dogs were growling away, their eyes were rolling in their heads. My son grabbed Ozzy and the dogs pounced on him too. He had to run with Ozzy to the car and rushed him to the vet. Our little dog was limp in his arms.

She added: “I phoned the police and they came up with guns. I can’t remember anything after that. I was totally traumatised and petrified by the whole thing.

"Ozzy was just covered in blood, his white fur was all red. I am still shaking. I can’t take it in. If a child had of been in front of them I’ve no doubt they would have been attacked also.

“Ozzy’s with the vet now and we’ve been told that he has lost a leg and is covered in puncture wounds. They told us that they will try their best but from seeing him I think there is not much hope for him. I don’t think he’ll make it through the night.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police were called to Bishops Field/Iniscarn play park in Creggan last night at approximately 6:45pm, following a report of an incident involving dogs.

“Due to the nature of the incident a number of Police were dispatched to ensure public safety.

“Thankfully, the situation was resolved with the co-operation and assistance of the Dog warden and all Police have now left the area.

“Thank you to all residents that moved back when requested by Police, to ensure a safe resolution.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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