Savage dogs maul three-legged toy spaniel in Musselburgh as neighbours and children watch on in horror

Police are investigating the horrific attack.

SAVAGE dogs mauled a three-legged pet to death in front of its distraught owner and horrified neighbours in a suburban street.

Two snarling staffies flew at the tiny Papillon toy spaniel which only had one eye and was pushed around in a buggy by her owner.

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The gruesome afternoon attack unfolded on Friday in Musselburgh and happened in front of shocked children leaving a nearby nursery.

The sickening attack happened in Balcarres Road shortly before 4pm close to the Links Nursery

“I’ve never heard anybody scream like that,” said a 48-year-old neighbour. “It was horrible, just horrible.

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“We thought her dog had been hit by a car, the injuries were so bad. Personally, I think this could kill her, we all said that. She has mental health issues and stuff like that.

“The dog was like her family. She treated it like royalty, like her baby,” added the mother-of-five.

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The sickening attack happened in Balcarres Road shortly before 4pm close to the Links Nursery as the owner of the Papillon, believed to be in her late 50s, headed home.

“I came after it happened. It lasted less than five minutes,” said the neighbour. “My son heard the commotion, we heard the screaming.

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“Neighbours came out too and cars stopped. The two staffies that did it are normally on a lead so we think the owner was visiting someone in the block of flats and they got out somehow.

“The woman owner of the Papillon takes her out of the buggy so she can go to the toilet before they go home and that’s when it must’ve happened.

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“She never stood a chance. She was only a little thing. She couldn’t even see properly. They’d ripped her throat and stomach out and were eating it.”

The neighbour told how the owner of the staffies came to round them up before hurling abuse at passers-by.

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“He started being really abusive to everybody and was screaming and shouting. By this time his partner had taken the two dogs away.

“One of the neighbours ran to face him up but he was just calling her a cow and she was saying his dogs had killed another dog.

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Police were called and officers are understood to have taken DNA from the Papillon, believed to be about 15 years-old, in a bid to link the attack to the killer dogs.

“Everybody is just scared at the moment,” said the neighbour. “They’re worried if they’re walking their dogs they might see them.”

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A nursery manager is understood to have ran into the street in a bid to shield the children’s eyes from the sickening attack and aftermath.

“They saw it all,” said the neighbour. “The woman from the nursery actually ran out and had to take the children across the road another way.

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“The kids were upset, obviously - they could hear the screaming.”

Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We received a report of a dog being killed in the Paddock area of Musselburgh around 4.20pm on Friday, 6 December, 2019.

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"Enquiries were carried out and it was established this wasn't a criminal matter. The incident has been referred to the local authority dog warden."