TUTBURY ENGLAND - A MOTHER AND HER DAUGHTER TOOK THEIR BELOVED WEST HIGHLAND TERRIER MIX "BENJI" OUT FOR A WALK IN THE EVENING AND WERE ATTACKED BY A BULL MASTIFF/STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER CROSS - PASSERS-BY RUSHED TO THEIR AID AND PROBABLY SAVED THEIR LIVES!
A mum who was mauled by a dog which attacked her, her 12-year-old daughter and puppy just metres from her front door in Tutbury has spoken of how it was like a 'horror film'.
Annette Riley, 54, and her daughter, Katie, were walking their dog Benji in Hillcrest, Tutbury, when they were set up by a BULL MASTIFF/STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER CROSS.
Annette was taken to hospital with five bite wounds to her arm, one which was 7cm deep and she could see her tendons. She may now need to undergo skin-graft surgery.
Katie, who almost died of a mystery disease two years ago, sustained bites to her hand and is now suffering nightmares, and her beloved dog is still recovering from the attack.
Annette said that at 5pm on Wednesday, November 9, they decided to take Benji, a West Highland Terrier cross, out for a quick walk before settling down in front of the TV for the evening.
As they came to the end of Hillcrest, and within metres of their front door, a large dog ran at them from the darkness and began attacking one-year-old Benji.
Annette said: "I picked Benji up and said to Katie 'get away'. The dog bit one hand, and when I turned my back to it, it jumped on my back. It wanted Benji and it was in for the kill.
"It got me by the arm and dragged me to the floor. I was covered in blood. It was like a horror film. Katie was screaming and Benji was crying. He was petrified.
"We could see our front door, and Benji jumped out of my arms and began running.
"The dog grabbed Benji by the neck and started ragging him around like a rag doll. Katie was screaming her head off 'He's killing my dog'. I really thought he was going to be dead."
Two passers-by rushed to their aid. One man grabbed the dog by the neck so it would let go of Benji, but the struggle continued for several minutes and Katie was bitten on her hand.
The dog then ran at Katie, but thankfully a passer-by picked her up and put her over a fence, out of harm's way.
Benji managed to escape and ran to the house, and the police arrived to seize the dog. Neighbours reported seeing six police cars and a riot van.
Although Annette knew she had been bitten on her hand, it was not until she removed her coat that she realised she had been left with five deep bite wounds, one of which was so deep she could see her tendons.
She said: "It was like a bloodbath in the kitchen.
I had been more worried about Katie. If it had attacked her it would have been a different story. She wouldn't have stopped bleeding. If it had been a mum with a pushchair, you could have been talking about a dead child."
Two years ago, Katie almost died battling an undiagnosed disease which ate away at her heart valve and she is still on aspirin so any wounds bleed more profusely.
Benji was given to Katie as a puppy after she survived eight heart operations.
Annette was taken in an ambulance to A&E at Burton's Queen's Hospital, and underwent an hour-long operation to deep clean the wounds. She was discharged from hospital on Sunday evening.
She now faces having skin grafts if the wounds do not heal properly and she is currently unable to go to her work as a cleaner.
Benji was rushed to the vets with four bites on his neck, extensive bruising and a punctured ear. He may also lose his sight in one eye and he is now frightened of all dogs.
Katie, who attends de Ferrers Academy said: "The vets couldn't believe he wasn't dead. If the bite had gone any deeper or to the right it would have hit a main artery.
"It was all like a film, it didn't seem real. I'm now having nightmares of dogs attacking me."
Police are still looking for the two good Samaritans who stepped in to help pull the mastiff off Benji.
Anyone who is able to help Staffordshire Police with their enquiries is asked to call 101 quoting incident 487 of 9 November.
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 where information left can neither be recorded nor traced.