A Banbridge dog owner says her pet pooch is lucky to be alive after it was attacked by a bull terrier-type dog near Havelock Park on Friday, March 10.
A second local pet owner has since reported that her dog was attacked in similar circumstances in the same area of the town the following day. In that incident the man walking the dog is also thought to have sustained injuries.
Both women say their beloved pets were set upon by a pitbull or Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog, but it’s not yet known if the same animal was responsible for the two attacks.
The two owners took to social media over the weekend to warn other pet owners in Banbridge to be wary if walking their dogs near Havelock Park.
Lynn Adamson explained how her husband, Hugh, was walking home from the park with their border collie, Tyler, at around 3:40pm on Friday when the attacked happened as they were crossing the Lurgan Road.
“The dog hit Tyler from behind and nearly took the two of them off their feet. They didn’t even see it coming,” she said.
“Hugh was beating the head off the dog to try and get it off, but it had hold of Tyler and it wouldn’t let go. A girl stopped her car and helped him but the dog still wouldn’t let go.
“An elderly man, who was well dressed and spoke politely, ran from Havelock and called the dog. It let go and ran to the man. By this stage other cars had stopped and the drivers were shouting at the man. He wouldn’t give Hugh his phone number and walked off down the Kiloanin towards Dunbar Bridge. Hugh was more concerned about getting our dog to the vet.”
The attack left 12-year-old Tyler bleeding from puncture wounds behind his front left leg, and his owners were afraid he was going to die.
“We were worried that there might have been muscle damage that would’ve needed an operation, and at Tyler’s age he might not have come through it. At one point we thought we might have to get him put down, but thankfully he didn’t need the operation. He’s on the road to recovery, but he’s been scared stiff by what happened,” Lynn said.
The Adamsons have reported the attack to the council’s dog warden and the PSNI.
Reports of a second, similar incident were reported on the Banbridge Saints and Sinners Facebook page on Sunday morning.
Warning other dog owners to be wary, Emma Finnegan posted: “Folks my dad and mini schnauzer were attacked by a staff bull dog last nite approx 8pm at entrance to Havelock Park. It had my dog round the head and when my dad got it off the dog it turned on him. The owner ran away!! Thank you to the two men who stopped and helped get the dog off my dad as the attack lasted ten minutes prior to these guys helping.
“My dad has cuts to legs and hands and is very badly shaken by this! My wee dog injured but we hope will be ok after trip to vet. It has been reported to police last nite and this morning we are ringing the warden.”
Urging the council’s dog warden and the police to take action to prevent further attacks, Lynn Adamson added: “This is very scary. What if this happened to a young child? Something needs to be done before another dog or a child gets attacked.”
Confirming that they are investigating the matter, a spokesperson for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council said: “The council has a received a complaint about a dog attack in the vicinity of Havelock Park at the weekend and is currently investigating the matter. If anyone witnessed the attack or has any information that would help identify the owner, they are asked to contact the dog warden on 028 4066 0600.
“Any information they can provide will be treated in the strictest confidence. The council wishes to remind all owners that they have a responsibility to keep their dog under control at all times.”
A PSNI spokesperson said the attacks are a matter for the council’s dog warden to investigate.