A Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been ordered to be destroyed after it savaged a pensioner and his pet dog while they were out on a walk.
Terrified John Cantrell, 71, was walking his miniature schnauzer Bertie close to the Coopers Arms, in Weston-on-Trent, Derbys., at around 9am on March 5.
But suddenly, an out-of-control six-year-old Staffie called Ollie broke free from its owner’s grasp and launched the “savage attack”, which lasted between five and ten minutes.
A court heard how Mr Cantrell had also been walking his other dog, a 22-month old dachshund called Baxter, when the Staffie “charged” at him.
The OAP even tried to gouge Ollie’s eyes out in a desperate bid to stop the attack on his beloved pooch.
Quick-thinking Mr Cantrell picked Bertie up, but the ravenous dog jumped up and grabbed Bertie in his jaws.
Emergency services took Mr Cantrell to hospital, where he spent three days while surgeons worked to mend seven of his fingers after the “horrendous” attack.
Mr Cantrell, a retired businessman, was left with a vet‘s bill of more than £12,000 when Bertie almost died after suffering horrific injuries during the attack.
Despite last-minute pleas by Ollie’s owner Peter Hatton, 69, his wife Cheryl and an animal behaviourist who looked at the evil dog, Ollie was ordered to be destroyed.
Hatton, of Weston-on-Trent, Derbys., pleaded guilty to owning a dog that was dangerously out of control at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (4/8).
Judge Jonathan Taaffe handed Hatton a two-year conditional discharge, and ordered him to pay £7,500 compensation to Mr Cantrell and a £15 victim surcharge.
Passing sentence, Judge Taaffe said: “This was a savage attack and several, serious, injuries have been caused to a member of the public and another dog.
“I have listened carefully to what Mr and Mrs Hatton have had to say and the animal behaviourist and my conclusion is that I can’t be satisfied that Ollie will not constitute a danger to the public and I am not satisfied in your ability to control him.
“It was a horrendous incident and Ollie was very, very determined to get to the dog.
“In the circumstances I will make a destruction order.”
Mrs Hatton then burst into tears at the back of court.
Addressing the judge Hatton said: “He has never been a problem with anyone or any other dogs before, if anyone even broke into our house he would welcome them, he’s that friendly.”
Lynn Bickley, prosecuting, told how witnesses recalled there being “blood everywhere” when the six-year-old Staffie attacked Mr Cantrell and Bertie.
Miss Bickley said: “Mr Cantrell describes the Staffie charging towards them and so he picked up Bertie.
“The Staffie jumped up and grabbed Bertie with his jaws, Mr Cantrell was trying to kick the dog away and a neighbour came out and hit it with a bucket and threw water over it but it would not let go.”
She said Mr Cantrell had to drop Bertie and even tried to gouge at Ollie’s eyes to get him to let go of his pet.
The whole incident lasted between five and 10 minutes before the dogs were parted and Hatton led Ollie away.
Miss Bickley added: “Mr Cantrell had to be taken to accident and emergency where it was discovered seven fingers had been injured.
“He was in hospital three days and had to undergo an operation under general anaesthetic.”
Miss Bickley said Bertie remained at the veterinary surgeons for a number of weeks and has survived the attack, but the cost of treatment has so far been more than £12,000 as Bertie was not insured.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Cantrell said: “I retired as a senior executive at an oil company and was starting to enjoy my retirement.
“Since this horrendous episode I feel emotionally and physically drained, I have nightmare and I sleep between two and three hours a night.”
John Walsh, defending, said his client had been traumatised himself by the incident and Ollie had been in kennels since March.