“I thought they had killed her” Dog owner speaks out after collie is savaged by Staffordshire bull terrier

Tilly's wound required 14 stitches

Tilly's wound required 14 stitches - Credit: Archant

The owner of a border collie could only look on in horror after his dog was set upon and savaged by a Staffordshire bull terrier just yards from his home.

Tilly's wound required 14 stitiches

Tilly's wound required 14 stitiches - Credit: Archant

David Phillips had just opened the back gate to his home, in West Drive Gardens, Soham, when seven-year-old Tilly was attacked by the terrier, which clamped its jaws around her neck.

Mr Phillips tried desperately to get the Staffy to release its grip but the dog’s jaw was locked and the owners were powerless to call it off.

After several minutes he was able to prize its jaw far enough apart for Tilly to escape and she raced back into the family home, bleeding, traumatised and having soiled herself.

Tilly before the attack.

Tilly before the attack. - Credit: Archant

Mr Phillips said the owners of the Staffy, who also had a second dog running free of its lead, left the area shortly after the incident.


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Tilly, who only recently recovered from surgery to treat cancer, was taken to Pet Doctors, in Fordham Road, where she underwent a procedure to treat several deep puncture wounds and lacerations to her neck.

She had more than a dozen stitches to the wound and Mr Phillips was left with a bill for more than £600 to boot.

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He said: “My main concern was getting my dog free and sorting her out, by the time I had managed that the owners of the Staffy had disappeared, I had never seen them before.

The Staffie left deep lacerations in Tilly's neck

The Staffie left deep lacerations in Tilly's neck - Credit: Archant

“Tilly is still traumatised by the incident, she is not allowed out – only into the back yard – and she is not allowed to jump up or go upstairs. I thought they had killed her.

“There are a lot of children around the area in the evening so I would worry if these dogs were running free with children about. 95 per cent of Staffys are good dogs but there are some irresponsible owners out there.”

Mr Phillips said he had contacted police and gave them a description of the man and woman involved. Anyone with any information about the couple or the dogs should contact police on 101.

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