A SCHOOLBOY and his grandmother watched on in horror as their helpless terrier was mauled to death by three vicious dogs on the beach.
Patricia Turner, 64, said her beloved pet, Bob, was killed in a matter of seconds when the dogs, described as greyhounds or lurchers, attacked - and then feared they were going to turn on her nine-year-old grandson, Aaron.
Fortunately they didn’t, but when the owner of the three dogs realised what had happened he made a quick getaway, leaving Patricia with her bloodied lifeless pet and distraught Aaron.
The shocking incident happened on Seaton Carew beach near to the Blue Lagoon at 5.10pm on Saturday.
Patricia, a retired business services manager of Seaton Carew, said: “I can’t think of the words to describe what it’s like to look down and see your pet ripped to death right in front of you.
“One of the dogs grabbed him from the front and another one from the back and just ripped him apart.
“All I keep thinking is what would have happened if they had turned on my grandson as well?”
Patricia and Aaron were walking Bob and one of her daughter’s dogs, Charlie, a border collie, when a dog came up to them from behind and started sniffing and growling.
It ran away but moments later returned with two others and pounced on helpless Bob, an 11-year-old mixed terrier.
“I just couldn’t take in what was happening,” said Patricia.
“A man then came towards me and I said to him ‘your dogs have killed my dog’, he told me he was going to get his mobile and then got away quickly and didn’t come back, there was a woman with him as well.
“What kind of person leaves a distraught elderly woman on her own with a young boy and their dead dog?”
Patricia thanked a man who ran over to help immediately after the attack.
“I can’t thank the man who came over to help us enough,” said the mum of Christy Davies, 40, Paul, 37, Cheryl Gooding, 35, and William, 34.
“I didn’t take his name and I’ve been so frustrated with myself for not doing so but I just wasn’t thinking straight at the time.
“Ever since the attack it’s been going through my mind again and again and I’ve been thinking whether I could have done anything to stop them.
“But the dogs were just out of control and it all happened so quickly.”
Patricia’s son, Paul, rescued Bob from a skip when he was a puppy and looked after him for five years until he emigrated to Australia six years ago. Patricia has cared for the pooch ever since.
“He was such an amazing little dog,” she added.
“He didn’t deserve to be killed like that, no dog does.”
Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call Cleveland Police by calling 101.