Out-of-control dogs ‘like lions on prey’ as they attacked elderly mare *Warning: graphic image*

  • The owner of two horses injured in a frenzied attack by two out-of-control dogs has compared the incident to watching a lion taking down its prey.

    Lisa Britton was feeding calves on her smallholding in Royston, South Yorkshire, on 21 May at 6am when she saw her two mares, 25-year-old Amber and 20-year-old Jules, in distress.

    Lisa told H&H both mares jumped out of their paddock, which is bordered by a footpath on an old railway line, with two lurcher-type dogs in pursuit of Amber.

    “They were jumping on her and biting her throat and her legs. They kept trying to pull her down. It was like watching lions on TV when they attack an animal in the wild,” she said.

    “The dog owner tried to get the dogs back but they were in a frenzy. He turned to me and said they were going to kill Amber. I couldn’t catch her and felt so hopeless.”

    Lisa said Amber, who was “screaming” in panic, eventually ran into a fence.

    “The man managed to get hold of one of the dogs, but the other then chased Jules. He eventually got hold of the second one, said sorry and ran off.”

    “My neighbour Louise had heard me screaming and came to see what was going on. After I told her she drove round looking for the man but couldn’t find him.”

    The vet attended to treat the mares. Amber needed stitches and staples, and a drain inserted into one of her multiple wounds.

    *Warning: graphic image*

    “Jules had a bite and was a bit stiff, but Amber could hardly walk. She had wounds on her neck, chest and legs,” said Lisa. “The vet said the dogs had just missed her jugular vein – if it had been an inch down it would have been fatal.

    “It took hours for them both to settle afterwards, I didn’t sleep that night thinking about it.”

    Lisa reported the incident to the police, who are not investigating the incident.

    “The police said there was nothing they could do because a crime wasn’t committed,” said Lisa. “They said if the dogs had bitten me it would have been different, but because it was horses it’s not an offence. I can’t believe this can happen – I’m so upset.

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    “Owners have to be responsible for their dogs and understand it can be instinct and a game to them; people need to keep their dogs on lead and think about the consequences. It’s not just horses at risk – it’s livestock too, it could have been a small calf.”

    A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police told H&H the force is not investigating the incident because there are no lines of enquiry to follow.

    “We are committed to tackling wildlife crime and a number of our officers are trained in this area and passionate about it. They fulfil these duties alongside their day-to-day policing,” he said.

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