A horrified dog owner watched as his pet was killed instantly and tossed in the air by two stray hunting dogs only a few yards from his house.
Samuel Davis, 59, was taking Spike, his 16-year-old Lhasa Apso, for a walk in Denaby Main, Doncaster, when the two bull greyhound cross breed dogs attacked them.
Mr Davis’s wife Suzanne said the dogs shook Spike in their jaws, instantly breaking his neck, before throwing him in the air. As the retired security guard tried to grab his dog the two loose animals also attacked him, leaving him with minor injuries.
Mrs Davis said: “Samuel is gutted, he can’t sleep, he has been sick. He was injured as well. He didn’t want the dogs to rip Spike apart completely. He is in a right state.”
Police are trying to trace the dogs, which ran off in the direction of a nearby restaurant after the attack at 5.30am on Thursday near the couple’s home on Stonecliffe Walk in Denaby Main.
Mrs Davis, 50, said: “Spike was attacked by two great big hunting dogs, they are called bull greyhounds, they are what they use to kill deer. They breed the pitbull into them to make them more powerful. They have strong jaws and are very powerful.
“They pounced on him. They get their prey and toss it up in the air and break its neck instantly, that is what they did to Spike.
“My husband was trying to get Spike in his arms and get him home and the dogs were trying to get him off him.
“It was horrific. He got him home and called the police and the dog warden. The police have been marvellous, they have put on extra patrols in the area and are talking to people in our village in case they have dogs like that.
“My neighbour has it all on camera, she said it was horrific, Samuel is trying to get away from them and they are trying to get Spike.
“He was a family pet and we loved him, he was not even ill. He could have gone on for a few years yet.
“They shake them and toss them up in the air once they have killed then. It is awful he is dead but he didn’t have time to even squeak. Although it was horrific it could have been worse.
“This was three yards from home with a dog on its lead and a walk we have done for 16 years. We are in complete shock, we can’t believe what has happened. He is not an aggressive dog, he has never had a fight.”
South Yorkshire Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident and say the attacking dogs were not accompanied by an owner. The dogs have not yet been found and it is not known if their owners were local.
Mrs Davis said: “We are not anti any dog, we love all dogs, We don’t even blame the dogs, we blame the owners for making them into killing machines and setting them out on the loose.
“We don’t know if the dogs have been out hunting at night, often the owners if they go out poaching and get disturbed by police they leave them behind.
“We have a big piece of land which is renowned for having deer and hares on it. They might not even be from around here.”
South Yorkshire Police are appealing for anyone with information to call 101 quoting incident number 117 of 26 March or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.