A YOUNG singer has been left broken-hearted after her cockapoo puppy was mauled by a staffie-type dog and had to be put down.
Emma Hardy (17) said her father Robert was also hurt in the incident on Everton Road, Hordle on Tuesday night around 10.15pm.
He was left with a badly injured hand after being bitten while trying to save the puppy, called Nyla, from the other dog, which was off its lead. Nyla was given to Emma as a Christmas present.
Although the five-month-old pet was rushed to the vets, she sadly had to be put to sleep the next day as her injuries were so severe.
Now devastated Emma, from Hordle, a singer-songwriter who has appeared at local events and on radio, is appealing for help in tracing the dog that attacked Nyla after the owner did not give his details to Robert.
Talking to the A&T, Robert (54), who owns Hardys Electrical in New Milton, told how the other dog “flew into attack mode” when it saw Nyla.
“I was just strolling along with Nyla on the lead and I could see this other dog just trotting towards us with its owner behind it.
“It started to trot faster then just flew into attack mode, there was no warning. The momentum of the attack took Nyla and the dog into the ditch at the side of the road and I jumped into it to try and separate them.
“I was shouting at the owner of the staffie, ‘Get the dog off! Get the dog off!’ – I don’t know if he was in shock but he didn’t.
“It was pitch black and Nyla was yelping and howling. I managed to separate them but it took me a good five minutes.”
Robert said when he asked the owner for his name and address, the man told him: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You take your dog home and I’ll wait here.”
“He wouldn’t give me his details and I just wanted to get Nyla to the vets,” Robert added.
He rushed Nyla to an emergency vet in Wimborne straight away.
“They thought she was going to be alright and the next morning she was transferred to our vet in New Milton, but there were complications and sadly we had to let her go”, he explained.
“We are totally devastated.”
He spent all day Wednesday trying to get through to police on the 101 line to report the attack, but was unable to.
An angry Robert said: “We just kept getting a message saying there was a 90-minute wait, then that you couldn’t wait at all. But without a police case number the dog warden can’t investigate, so we are going to Lymington police station to report it.”
He described the dog owner as in his thirties and wearing a light-coloured hoody. The dog was dark coloured, possibly with a white chest.
Robert said: “Emma does not wish any harm to this other dog, but we want to make sure it is kept under control, muzzled and on a lead in the future.”
He had to attend A&E to have stitches in his hand and needs ongoing treatment. Emma described her puppy as “just the most loving little dog”.
She told the A&T: “She was very innocent, and she would bound up to anyone because she was so happy to see them. We are going to miss her so much.”
Posting about her family’s ordeal on Facebook, Emma said: “It breaks my heart to say this, but we had to make the decision to put Nyla down. The dog had managed to rip her bowel to shreds causing faecal matter to leak.
“She had no hope of surviving, and after surgical examination Nyla just never woke up. She will be forever in our hearts and she was the most loved puppy.
“We are doing everything in our power to find this dog and owner. Say a prayer for our little girl and thank you to everyone for your support.”
In an earlier post, she had written: “Attacking our dog was vicious but I don’t blame the dog at all.
“I don’t know whether the dog had a bad past or is rescued, which could explain the behaviour. I just can’t have that happening to anyone else. A child or even a grown woman could not have prized the dog’s mouth open as my dad did and it would have caused more damage.”
The attack is now being investigated by the police and the New Forest district dog warden.
Anyone with any information is asked to call 101.
The incident is the latest in a string of attacks by dogs locally. The A&T recently reported on the launch of a national campaign to make such attacks a criminal offence if there is neglect by the owner.