A woman has been awarded £15,000 in compensation after being mauled while trying to protect her two pets during a dog attack.
Rebecca Lambert, aged 41, was walking her beloved pet dogs - a westie and a puggle - along a public footpath when they came under attack.
A bull terrier being walked off its lead ran towards Rebecca and her dogs while its owner shouted, ‘The dog is going to fight’.
Before Rebecca had time to pick both her dogs up off the ground to protect them, the savage bull terrier sank its teeth into her puggle pup - a cross between a beagle and a pug.
Fearing that the pup was going to be killed, Rebecca fought the bull terrier off - suffering puncture wounds, scratches and lacerations to her hands, thighs and face.
Her clothes were also ripped during the struggle, which lasted around 15 minutes and was witnessed by members of the public.
The owner of the bull terrier struck it over its back with his walking stick - which broke in two.
Shocked passers-by on Lilly Hall Road, Maltby, Rotherham, came to Rebecca’s aid before paramedics and police arrived at the scene after being contacted by Rebecca’s stepdaughter.
One Good Samaritan revived the injured puggle at the scene before it was taken for veterinary treatment, which proved costly.
The owner of the bull terrier responsible for the attack disappeared before police arrived - but an investigation was launched and he was eventually tracked down.
Rebecca, from Hellaby, Rotherham, then took out a private claim for compensation from him - for the injuries and distress she suffered on the day, lasting physical and psychological damage, and to pay for her dog’s veterinary fees.
Solicitor Mark Fisher, who specialises in animal accidents for Sheffield and Chesterfield-based law firm Graysons, said: “The English bull terrier is one of the dogs considered dangerous in the Animals Act 1971 and the owner was liable for the damage it did.
“The owner was already aware the dog had acted in a dangerous way previously - yet he didn’t restrain it or try in any way to prevent it from causing the accident. The dog has now been destroyed.
“Around 6,000 people are injured through dog attacks every year, but many people are not aware they have the right to make a claim against an owner if their animal causes an accident or injury.
“But indeed they are - and in fact the recent amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act now makes criminal prosecution possible for those whose dogs display aggressive or threatening behaviour on private property, as well as in public, including their own home.”
To discuss a claim call Mr Fisher 0114 272 9184 for an initial free appointment.