A teenager whose puppy was mauled to death in a horrific attack by two greyhounds urged for a change in the law to hold the killer dogs’ owner accountable.
Emily Hempseed, 18, was heartbroken when her Maltese puppy, Rudi, who was just a year old, was torn apart while out for a walk in a park.
Her younger brother Harry, 14, had been walking the family’s cherished pooch when the puppy was attacked by two greyhounds, which appeared to be muzzled and on leads.
But they broke free from their handler and pounced on the helpless puppy in East Calder, Livingston, close to a play park.
The tiny white dog was so horrifically injured that the family were told they could not see him before he was cremated.
But their grief was compounded when they were told that no action could be taken against the owners of the greyhounds – as the victim was a dog, not a human.
Emily is campaigning for the case to be reopened by the Procurator Fiscal – which makes a decision on whether to prosecute – and believes the greyhounds pose a risk to humans as well as other dogs.
She said Harry was traumatised by the horror attack and was having nightmares where he heard the puppy’s ‘final screams’.
The family are struggling to comprehend how the owners of the greyhounds can escape punishment and are disheartened by the police response.
Emily said: “I think someone needs to be held accountable for the taking of my dog’s life.
“I think there needs to be a change in the law.
“I don’t want to blame the dogs’ owner but there should be some accountability.
“Rudi was a loving dog and he never hurt anyone, he came from a loving home.
“If a dog has the power to do that unprovoked, it could turn on anyone.
“We shouldn’t have to wait for those dogs to attack a human for justice to be served.
“We feel we have been treated as the offender, not the victim.”
As the attack took place, Harry screamed for help, and a woman ran over to speak to him and got the family’s address, and went round to speak to mum-of-two Wendy, 45.
Wendy called her husband, John, 49, and his parents also came round to support the family.
One police officer attended the gory scene as Rudi’s remains were put into a plastic bag to be taken to the vets.
And another three police officers have since visited the family at home – but Emily claims the greyhound’s owner asked cops for the Hempseeds not to find out what had happened to their dogs, and the family are still in the dark.
Emily, who works in an Adidas shop, added: “We were told on Friday that the Procurator Fiscal said it would not be going forward as it was dog-on-dog.
“A lot of people in our community have dogs, they are scared.
“To think that my younger brother should be able to go out in the neighbourhood with our dog, and bring him home, but that he hasn’t been able to do that – it could have been a toddler in a fluffy jumper.
“Next time it could be a child – they need to prevent it now.”
She is petitioning the Scottish Government to get ‘justice’ for Rudi.
The family had owned him for nearly two years, and he was their first dog.
Rudi will be cremated with his favourite towel and a toy.
Emily said: “At the scene, Rudi was put in a plastic bag and taken to the vets.
“The next day the vets told us not to see him as it was not a nice scene.
“He was our first dog, he was our baby.
“Maltese dogs can live for 18 years, we thought we would have him all that time.
“But he went at one-year-old.”
Her mum, Wendy, added: “Rudi was loved unconditionally.
“It’s just not right what’s happened.
“The police came round last night [Mon] and took statements.
“We declined for the owner to pay for Rudi’s funeral.
“We just want justice, we don’t want this to happen again.
“Something needs to change – Emily is pretty determined.
“It’s like they’ve taken our baby away.”