Dog that attacked woman is spared destruction

A CAT-owner has spoken of the shock of seeing his wife attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier which had nearly killed his pet.

A CAT-owner has spoken of the shock of seeing his wife attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier which had nearly killed his pet.

Anita Elmore suffered puncture wounds to her wrist after trying to pull her cat Poppy out of the jaws of the three-year-old dog on June 13.

The three-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier chased the 11-year-old cat, belonging to Mrs Elmore and her husband Ray, into their house in Beatty Road in Eaton Socon, Huntingdon magistrates heard on Wednesday.

Mrs Elmore said the first she knew of the attack was when the animals “whooshed” past her and she heard her cat hissing. She arrived to find the dog holding Poppy in its mouth at the top of the stairs.

It escaped and ran downstairs, where it was chased through the lounge and kitchen. Outside, the dog caught Poppy again and pinned it belly-up to the ground.

When Mrs Elmore tried to prise the dog from her cat, the dog turned on her and bit her right hand, puncturing the skin in three places. Mr Elmore finally managed to pull the dog from his wife’s wrist, and Brunt arrived to calm the dog.

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Mr Elmore said the experience had left him and his wife shocked.

“There was just so much blood after it had happened. It was difficult to know where it was coming from, and who was hurt,” he said.

“It was a very traumatic attack for my wife, to see her cat attacked like that. The squealing noise from the cat was horrible.

“We’re just lucky that the cat and my wife were not more seriously injured. It’s taken quite a while for Poppy to fully recover.

“At least now we can start to put this behind us now,” he said.

Magistrates ruled the dog should not be destroyed, saying there was no evidence it was anything other than a one-off attack.

A 28-day curfew was imposed on owner James Brunt, forbidding the 29-year-old from Great North Road, Eaton Socon, from leaving his house between 9pm and 6am. He must also keep his dog on a lead at all times outside his house for three months.

Brunt was ordered to pay vets’ bills totalling �179.42, compensation to Mrs Elmore of �100 and a �35 contribution towards costs.

Brunt had pleaded guilty at an earlier court appearance to one charge of owning a dog causing injury in a private place, before pre-sentence reports were drawn up.

Michele Cheatle, mitigating, presented letters of reference to the court vouching for the previous good behaviour of the dog. Brunt had also been left shaken by the incident, said Miss Cheatle.

“He takes responsibility for his dog,” she told magistrates. “This dog chased a cat – it’s what they do, but the events afterwards were not what anyone had hoped. He would never want this to happen again.”

Brunt and his dog were extremely close, added Miss Cheatle.

“This dog is his friend, it’s his other half. They are together all the time,” she said.