A HEARTBROKEN couple fear a dangerous dog which attacked their pet could attack a child unless it is caught.
Cross-breed border collie Sam was savaged by a “pit bull-type” dog while on a walk near owner Peter Stewart’s Cusworth home - and had to be put to sleep by a vet a few days later from his severe injuries.
Now South Yorkshire Police have launched an appeal on behalf of Peter and wife Sherelle who have described the attack as “a horrendous nightmare”.
Mr Stewart, of Perran Grove, Cusworth, said: “Dogs like that shouldn’t be allowed on the streets. What if it got hold of a child next time?
“It could easily attack someone and I dread to think what could happen next if its not found.
“It was absolutely horrendous to watch and it has devastated our family. Sam was such a loving, family pet and the last few weeks have been an absolute nightmare.”
The attack happened on February 28 as Mr Stewart took four-year-old Sam for a stroll in Newlands Park, near the Trans Pennine Trail in Cusworth.
As they walked, he spotted a young woman walking three dogs. “They looked like a mum and some pups,” he said. “The big dog ran over and clamped its jaws around Sam and started shaking him and mauling him and wouldn’t let go.”
The dog, described as tan coloured and the size of a greyhound, eventually released Sam and the terrified animal ran to the family home where Mr Stewart found his cowering pet a few moments later.
He rushed him straight to a vet for an emergency operation to re-attach his skin which had been ripped off but the graft failed to take and after developing infections, the family took the heartbreaking decision to put Sam to sleep about 10 days later.
“We just want the owner and the dog caught,” he said. “It isn’t safe to be on the streets.”
Police have described the woman as white, around 16 to 17-years old and 5ft to 5ft 3ins tall. She has shoulder length dark brown hair and was wearing blue jeans, a dark coloured jacket and dark coloured boots.
Anyone with information on the incident, which happened at around 4.25pm, or the identity of the woman should contact police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, quoting incident number 806 of 28/02/2013.