Pensioner's anguish after her pet savaged so badly it will have to lose a leg
A pensioner has described how she cried when she saw the extent of the horrific injuries the family pet sustained after being mauled by other dogs at a children's playground.
Marie Doherty's four-year-old Shih Tzu Ozzy suffered horrific bites all over his body after he was attacked by two Staffordshire bull terriers at Iniscarn Park in Londonderry on Thursday night.
Ozzy was not expected to survive the night, such were the extent of his injuries.
But he did, however he now needs to have a front leg amputated.
Marie (63) said she couldn't sleep after the attack and broke down when she saw him yesterday.
"The vet called us in on Friday morning," she said.
"I couldn't believe it when I saw him. He was wrapped in a towel and covered in drips.
"He had stitches and puncture wounds all over his little body and he was all covered in blood. I could barely look at him.
"I started to cry and my son began to cry.
"Ozzy was out cold, heavily sedated, but we were just so glad he made it through the night.
"But he is not out of the woods yet. I took some Holy Water and a Miraculous Medal with me to the vet's to bless him. The rest of them were laughing at me, but Ozzy means so much to me and it was what my own mother would have done when someone was sick. I left the holy medal beside his cage."
Ozzy will now undergo surgery.
Marie added: "I was saying to him: 'How's my wee man today?'. My son said his tail moved, but I didn't see it.
"They say that his leg will have to be amputated, but they are sedating him over the weekend and will operate next week."
Marie now faces huge vet bills to care for Ozzy.
She said that money is the last thing on her mind, but some of those who witnessed Thursday's attack have set up a GoFundMe page to help the pensioner with the mounting costs of his treatment.
"The community have been so good," she added.
"Friends and neighbours have come forward with money to help with the vet's bill. But it is not in my thoughts at the moment, just getting Ozzy back home safe and well is the main thing."
Derry City and Strabane District Council yesterday confirmed that its dog warden had impounded two animals at the scene of the incident and that investigations were continuing.
Anyone who wishes to donate towards Ozzy's vet bill can do so via www.gofundme.com/help-for-ozzy039s-medical