'People were watching in horror' - Portobello pet owners warn of 'out of control' staffy-cross savagely attacking other dogs

PET owners have warned others about an “out of control” staffy-like dog after it brutally attacked at least three different dogs in the last few weeks.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 16:45 pm
Dogs that have been victims of the vicious attacks in the Portobello area

Retired David De’Ath, from Portobello, said he was left traumatised after his dog was mauled by the aggressive animal while walking in Adelphi Place.

“It was one of those fast but slow motion moments,” he said.

“I was trying to pull my poor dog away, it was honestly traumatic.

Reuben, David De'Ath's staffy who required an operation after being attacked by the aggressive dog in Adelphi Place

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“The dog gashed her under her right arm and tore her muscles and she had a couple of puncture wounds.

“There were people watching, but watching in horror.”

Mr De’Ath said he was walking with his dog, Reuben, on the lead when the white staffy-cross came charging towards him.

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Mentone Avenue where Josephine Petersson's dogs were charged by the staffy-cross

He said its owner, a blond woman in her 20s, was making little effort to reconcile the situation.

“The owner was just yelling at the dog and not even coming over. Then when she did I remember suggesting we swap addresses but she just swore at me.

“At the time my dog was my priority, I had to focus on her, she was bleeding. We had to limp home together.”

Mr De’Ath also suffered bad bruising and grazing in the attack.

Josephine Petersson's dogs - both were rescued just in time before the aggressive staffy-cross injured them

Reuben had to be operated on, racking up a staggering £1300 in vet costs.

“Fortunately insurance covered most of it,” Mr De’Ath continued.

“But we still had to scrape together about £450 to pay the rest."

He said the police explained little could be done under the Dangerous Dog Act because the aggressive dog did not attack a human.

“Something must be done under the Public Order Act, surely,” he continued.

“If I scratch someone's car or drop litter I can be fined, but if my dog is attacked and has to be operated on nothing is to be done?

“I just wonder what happens when people can’t gather that much money together or take their dog to the vet.”

He said the aggressive dog will cause “enormous distress” if something isn’t done about it soon.

“I just want the dog to have a good life. It’s obviously distressed and not being looked after properly."

Dog walker Maz Forlow was also horrified to see what appeared to be the same white staffy-like dog launching for her dog’s throat while she was walking along the Portobello promenade recently.

She said: “I had to grab the dog by the collar and pull it off.

“The owner, a female with blonde hair, eventually came over and said sorry but then proceeded to rant and rave because I was checking over our dog and she said it wouldn't have harmed him because it was brought up with kids etc.

“We were so shaken after it, we checked him over but couldn’t see anything.

“It wasn’t until we got back to the car we noticed blood and unfortunately, he had puncture wounds and required treatment.”

Ms Forlow has since seen posts on social media from other dog walkers who experienced a similar attack from what appears to be the same dog, including one from Mr De'Ath.

She said: “It seems the same woman is allowing her dog to repeatedly attack other dogs.

“She clearly learns absolutely nothing. I just worry what’s going to happen before something gets done."

Retired nurse Josephine Petersson also fell victim to the savage dog on the loose while she was walking in Mentone Avenue at night.

“I found the whole thing terrifying,” she said.

“I own two tiny little dogs, one is a pug cross and the other a shih tzu cross, they are about 6kg and 8kg so I just whisked them up and got them just out the way in time after it came charging over.

"I still can’t believe how I did it. I was really frightened, they could have been killed."

Mrs Petersson said luckily the vicious dog was not persistent and eventually left her and her two mutts alone.

"The owner was very disengaged and I am not entirely sure she was okay," she continued.

"I have reported it to the police because she’s at risk and the dog is at risk. What if someone had a golf club in an incident like that? The dog itself could get really hurt if it carries on like this."

An Edinburgh City Council spokeswoman said environmental officers have been alerted to one of the attacks and are currently investigating the issue.

Police Scotland have been contacted for comment.