Pet dog ‘nearly blinded’ in attack by bull terrier during York riverside walk

Paddy, before the attack. In the background – an aerial view of the stretch of river where he was attacked from Bing Maps
18 Jul 2015 @ 7.06 pm
| News

This is Paddy, a young Shih Tzu dog. Described by his owner Mandy Cole as “gentle and friendly”, he was nearly blinded in an attack by a Staffordshire Bull Terrier in York.

Now she is appealing for the public’s help to trace the owner of the dog who mauled her pet.

Paddy after the attack
Paddy after the attack

The attack happened when Mandy’s friend was taking Paddy for a walk along Hospital Fields Road near the River Ouse, at about 8.45pm on Tuesday night (July 14).

Her friend let Paddy off the lead “and then there was this Staffie that came for him”, Mandy said.

From what I can gather, Paddy’s gone up to them and started sniffing, as dogs do.

Paddy will have wanted to play. And he’s got hold of him.

Although she didn’t witness the attack, Mandy said the vet who examined Paddy “said it looked as though the Staffie has had Paddy’s head in his mouth and then ragged him about”.

After the attack, which happened on the river bank close to the Millennium Bridge, the owner of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier walked away. He was a young man wearing a white Adidas hooded top with blue lines.

Covered in blood

Paddy ran off. Mandy and her friend drove around the local streets trying to find him.

He had been taken in by the nearby gym. When Mandy saw Paddy again his face was covered in blood.

She said:

I thought, thank god he’s been found. And then when I saw his face I nearly died.

We got him home and bathed his wounds with warm water and milk. I stayed up all night with him.

She took him to the vet the next day.

At first the vet thought Paddy was going to lose his eye.

They shone the torch in one eye and they couldn’t see any movement. He didn’t blink or anything. His bad eye was all closed up.

He couldn’t breathe properly because all the grunge coming from his eye had gone into his nose.

He has had his fur shaved off so she can treat his wounds with cream, and a Elizabethan collar fitted so Paddy can’t scratch at them.

Mandy said of 15-month-old Paddy: “Everybody knows him. He’s a loveable dog. He hasn’t got an ounce of badness in him.”

And she said next time it could be a small child that is attacked by the Staffie.

“To me, it’s not the dog’s fault – it’s the owner’s fault,” she said.

“If that was a vicious dog, why didn’t he have it on a lead, why didn’t he have it muzzled in a public place?

“There are so many out there who have got these dogs and don’t know how to handle them.”

Panic attacks

Paddy's head has been shaved so they can treat his wounds
Paddy’s head has been shaved so they can treat his wounds

She reported the incident to the police. They were going to investigate if the CCTV cameras on Millennium Bridge could provide any evidence to help identify the dog’s owner.

Mandy has been left with a £450 vet’s bill and both her and Paddy have been affected by the trauma.

I love my dog to pieces. I was in a horrendous state, I couldn’t talk, I had two panic attacks and I was in a right state.

Any time I go to put his lead on he won’t go out the door. I have to carry him outside – he just stands there.

Can you help find the attack dog’s owner? Contact North Yorkshire police by dialling 101.

It is the third dog attack reported in the city this month. The York Press reported how a Lhaso Apsho was hurt by another dog at Clifton Moor on Saturday, while a man is to appear in court after a “pitbull-type dog” killed a chihuahua off Foxwood Lane.