A SUNDAY afternoon stroll turned into a nightmare for a Moneymore woman when her pet dog Paddy was mauled by an Alsatian in broad daylight.

Mum Sonia Greer had been out walking her dog on the Circular Road when the Alsatian, which was not on a leash, attacked little Paddy.

And he was so severely injured in the attack, a vet recommended that Paddy was put down.

Sonia said the Alsatian raced up to her and started attacking Paddy on his back.

“I couldn’t get him off,” said a distressed Sonia.

She said a motorist came around the corner and spotted the angry Alsatian attacking Paddy. The motorist started blaring his horn to try and distract the Alsatian but the larger dog continued to attack.

The motorist then tried to nudge the larger dog away from the little dog with his car and shouted to Sonia to run.

At that the Alsatian let go and Sonia ran to a telephone box to escape the danger.

Sonia said it was very distressing and scary.

She explained that normally she would take her two-and-a-half year old daughter Chloe with her while walking Paddy and said she dreaded to think what might have happened had Chloe been there.

Paddy, a cross between a King Charles Cavalier and a collie, was immediately brought to the vet and received stitches however the vet recommended that he was put down because of his injuries and as he was 14 years old.

“I just thank God Chloe was away with her uncle that day. If my child has been with me she would have been traumatised for life or worse, maybe scarred for life,” said Sonia.

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She said she had contacted Cookstown District Council about the incident.

“The point that I want to get across is that a large dangerous dog attacked our beloved family pet and that the PSNI and local council know the owner of the dog, but have not removed the dog and have it destroyed.

“If a dog fouled the footpath the council would be quicker at giving out fines for this. This is a lot more serious than fouling. I want justice for my dog Paddy, and if the owners of the black Alsatian had any remorse they would give the dog up to the council.

“We are totally heart-broken by the loss of our dog, in such a terrible manner. She had enjoyed a good life, and for it to have been cut short is a disgrace,” said Sonia.

Cookstown Council’s Director of Environmental Health Mr Mark Kelso confirmed it was investigating the incident.

He said the Council was trying to establish the facts and appealed for witnesses, particularly the motorist who witness the attack, to come forward.

Mr Kelso added that the Alsatian is now secured and the matter is being actively investigated.

Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea described the attack as ‘appalling’.

“I have raised this matter with appropriate authorities and will ensure that the issue is followed up, in order to avoid having such dangerous dogs roaming our streets.

“Whilst I am concerned at this attack taking place; I am however extremely concerned at the possibility that it could very easily have been a child that was attacked. It does not bear thinking off and I will be pressing the authorities to make sure that this Alsatian is put down.

“While the majority of dog owners are extremely responsible with their dogs, I would encourage all dog owners to take heed and ensure that dogs are kept on leads at all times when out and about.”