A DOG owner has apologised after her pets savaged a Cavalier King Charles spaniel and has agreed to muzzle one of them.
As reported in the A&T last week, 10-year-old Flash was set upon by a pair of borzois as he was being walked by his owner, Don Tate, at Godshill Cricket Ground, near Fordingbridge.
He has since undergone an operation to have his hip pinned, and is on two months of crate rest. The vet bills have so far spiralled to £6,000, and the owner of the attacking dogs has agreed to pay the excess on the insurance policy.
Following the incident, Dan’s wife Julie had posted appeals on Facebook urging whoever was responsible to come forward.
“The lady owner had not seen those appeals, but she did read the report in the A&T and has passed on an apology through the dog warden.
“She said she didn’t realise how badly Flash was injured at the time. She was very sorry, and apparently very upset and distressed when she found out about his injuries.”
The borzoi breed was developed in Russia, where they were used for coursing and hunting rabbits, foxes and wolves. They are said to have a strong ‘chase instinct’ and can reach speeds of over 30mph.
The animals stand at over 30 inches tall but are said to be calm, loyal and affectionate – however, they tend to see smaller animals as prey.
Julie, from Fordingbridge, continued: “She [the owner] has agreed to have one of the dogs muzzled whenever it is out in public. But they do not have to be on leads as apparently that would interfere with their quality of life, according to the dog warden.
“That does worry me a bit and I hope the lady remains very aware when she is out with her dogs and has full control of them. I would not want anyone else to have to go through what we and poor Flash have.”
Julie said Flash was likely to need ongoing treatment, and he will be unable to walk for at least two months. “We have to carry him out into the garden about three times a day, but other than that he has to stay in the crate,” she said.
“In about a month we can take him for short walks round the garden, but it will be a long time before he goes for a real one, poor thing. But he is being very good about it all.
“I would like people to realise how an incident like this can have such drastic consequences.”
While noting the dog warden had “done their best”, she added: “It seems there are only so many things they can do. I was told that the lady was spoken to once before, about having a hole in her fence repaired so the dogs could not escape.”
Julie said she hoped the owner has “learnt her lesson”, adding: “There are places now advertised on Facebook where you can take your dog and let if off the lead in a confined field, or similar place, away from other dogs. I think it’s a good idea when you have dogs that you cannot 100% be sure of around other animals.”
She said she would like to thank the people who sent her messages of support after she appealed for help tracing the owner.
“We had so many lovely messages and kind words sent to us,” she said. “It has really helped and meant a lot to us.”