A family whose pet Jack Russell was mauled to death by two ‘pit bull type’ dogs says their owners are ‘well known’ in the area and the dangerous animals are responsible for a spate of attacks across south London.
Ulrick McKnight and his partner Sonia Faleiro were in Norwood Park on the evening of June 7 with their young daughter and pet terrier Zoey when two dogs ran over and launched an attack.
Writing on neighbourhood social networking website NextDoor, Ulrick said: “My family was sitting under the tree near the path, having a picnic.
“We realised that the dogs were approaching us, at least 50 feet from their owners, and I went to pick up Zoey.
“The largest of the dogs grabbed her by the head, locking its jaw. The owners did nothing.
“I ended up literally fighting the dog trying to free Zoey, and then the second one attacked us as well.
“I was laying on the ground with my arms around the first dog’s neck in a headlock at this point.
“I found out afterwards from my four year-old-daughter that the third dog was somewhere close to her while my wife was screaming at the owners to get their dogs.”
One of the dogs’ owners, a man, appeared and started screaming at Ulrick’s family before leaving the scene.
Zoey was rushed to the emergency vets in Paxton Green, near Gipsy Hill, but sadly died from her injuries. At the time of the attack she was fifteen-years-old and blind.
Ulrick was also injured trying to save her life, and the entire family has been left traumatised.
The dogs that attacked Zoey were off the lead and unmuzzled. They have been described as resembling banned pit bull type breeds.
Friends and other residents, who have seen images of the dogs and owners circulating online, have reported seeing them in nearby parks including in Crystal Palace Park, Wells Park, Gipsy Road and Upper Norwood Recreation Ground.
Despite this, and various other allegations of previous attacks on both dogs and children, as of Monday this week no arrests had been made.
The family have now set up a petition to City Hall calling for tougher action, believing that if the animals are not seized and action taken against their owners it will not be long before someone – possibly a child – is seriously hurt.
In an update on the petition page, ‘Stop the Killer Dogs of Crystal Palace’ which has now been signed by more than 3,000 people, Sonia said: “We are concerned that Zoey’s killing seems to be only the latest in a serious of brutal attacks, and without police taking this matter seriously the attacks will continue and worsen.
“It is too late for our Zoey, and for our family, but it is not too late to stop it happening to someone else.”
In a statement, the Met said: “Police were called at 17:33hrs on Monday, 7 June to Norwood Park SE27 after a woman reported that her dog had been attacked by two other dogs.
“The dogs were then allegedly placed on leads by a man who left the scene with a woman and two children. The woman’s dog later died. There have been no arrests at this time. Enquiries continue.”
It is one in a spate of dog attacks reported in the local area, many of which are unrelated incidents.
In another reported incident over the end of May Bank Holiday Saturday, a ten-year-old epileptic lurcher was attacked, while on a lead in Crystal Pal Park by a ‘staffie-type’ dog. The lurcher survived the attack but one of its owners was bitten in the face while trying to rescue it.
Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-ban-dangerous-dogs/u/29203855