Emergency surgery saves Flash after savaging by two dogs

New Forest dog attack
Flash was savaged at Godshill cricket ground, a popular dog walking spot

A TEN-YEAR-OLD Cavalier King Charles spaniel had to undergo two bouts of major surgery after being viciously attacked by two dogs at a popular walking spot.


The tiny 10-year-old called Flash was being put back on his lead to return home by owner Don Tate when the incident happened around 7pm on Tuesday at Godshill cricket ground near Fordingbridge.

Don’s wife Julie told the A&T: “My husband was just making his way back from a walk with Flash and our other dog when he bent down to put their leads on.

“As he did so two large brown and white dogs came bounding over the ridge of the hill and literally just set about Flash.

“They picked him up and ragged him about. He was squealing and was obviously in a lot of pain. It was awful for my husband – he managed to frighten the other dogs off, then had to struggle back to the car with a badly injured Flash and our other dog.”

Don phoned her on his way home to tell her what her what had happened, and when he got back they rushed Flash to the out-of-hours vets.

Julie, from Fordingbridge, said the female owner of the dogs, who was in her fifties, did not “even apologise” to her husband or leave her details.

“To Flash this is a major incident in his life,” she said. “He has never had to have surgery before, and it will take him weeks to recover.

“But it happened in a blink of an eye and the owner did not even seem to acknowledge it. I have found her attitude so upsetting.”

She told how Flash was rushed to an emergency vets in Salisbury after the attack, where he was operated on and kept in overnight.

“He had puncture wounds and a dislocated hip, which was obviously very painful for him,” continued Julie. “They had to give him a general anaesthetic and operate.

“They were concerned because he is elderly and has a heart murmur, which makes it dangerous to be put under. But he managed to come through. He has been very brave, but it has all been awful for him.”

The hip was so badly damaged that Flash was due to undergo further surgery at Anderson Moors vets in Winchester.

Julie said: “The vets have warned us that he may even have to have a hip replacement in the future because the hip may not stay in place. It’s absolutely heart-breaking to see him go through so much. He is such a sweet little dog and everyone loves him.”

Posting about the attack on Facebook, Julie appealed for information on the owner of the two dogs involved.

“We’ve since learnt, thank goodness, that all the surgery, which is likely to cost over £4.000, will be covered by insurance, so I am not looking for money from the other dog owner,” explained Julie.

“But I would like at least an apology and to be reassured that she has taken steps to make sure her dogs are always under control in the future.”

She said she had reported the attack to police, but was told the force had recently received guidance stating dog-on-dog attacks were not to be investigated unless an assistance animal was involved.

Julie was advised to report the matter to the local dog warden, which she has done. Appealing for the other dog owner to get in contact, she said: “If you are the lady and are now regretting just going off in all the confusion, please message me.”

Earlier this year, the A&T reported how Gaye Fisher, whose own dog Brody was killed in an unprovoked attack in a park last year, has launched a campaign for a change in the legislation covering such incidents.

It has to be proved that a dog owner was negligent and that their animal was dangerously out of control in a public place for it to be a criminal offence.

Gaye said: “This is a major issue and I am amazed that all the people who are supposedly interested in animal welfare are not acting. Our failure to act is unacceptable. Even more so because there is the means now by dog DNA to solve this problem.”

To join her campaign, visit www.facebook.com/groups/1800204616731629.