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Witney family distraught as chihuahua is killed by another dog
A PET chihuahua was mauled to death in Witney town centre by another dog.
Family dog Chico died when his heart was punctured by what has been described as a Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog in Church Green on Monday.
The two-year-old pet was with 16-year-old owner Ashleigh Church and friends when the attack happened at about 4.30pm.
Wood Green schoolgirl Ashleigh, who was bitten on the hand in the attack, has been having nightmares and was last night too distressed to talk.
Becca MacLarty, 16, a pupil at Henry Box School, said a teenage boy was walking the terrier just before the attack happened.
She said: “It was the worst thing I have ever seen in my life. It was horrible.”
Ashleigh’s mum Louisa Church, 33, of New Bridge Street, Witney, said more than 30 people must have witnessed the incident.
She said: “He (Chico) is like our baby. He was one of us. Everyone in Witney knows Chico.
“There were families on that green. Kids must have seen what happened.”
Miss Church’s fiance Darren Peck, 37, said: “We are absolutely devastated.
“It’s ridiculous. The little guy was part of the family.
“Those Staffs are just a menace.
“You should have seen the blood on Ashleigh’s clothes.”
Under tougher Dangerous Dog Act laws introduced this week, owners of dogs who attack people in public can receive a prison sentence of up to 18 months.
Albert Honey, a former animal welfare officer for Thames Valley Police for 19 years, said similar attacks were becoming more common.
He said: “The enforcement of the new legislation cannot come quick enough.
“And at the end of the day the dog stands to lose its life through no fault of its own.”
RSPCA spokesman Diane Roberts said she was unable to say how many calls it had received over the attack.
She said: “We cannot comment as we are still investigating this incident.”
Police have seized the bull terrier and are investigating.
A police spokesman said: “We have received a report of an incident involving two dogs in Church Green, Witney, believed to have happened at around 4.40pm on Monday, after which one of the dogs sadly died. The person believed to have been in charge of the other dog is helping us with our inquiries and we are investigating alongside the RSPCA.
“While the incident is under investigation we are not willing to speculate as to the circumstances.”
He said that no arrests had been made and added that police had received the first call at 4.46pm and dispatched a unit to attend two minutes later, with another dispatched at 4.51pm.