A DOG owner on Wearside is calling on fellow canine lovers to take control of their animals after her pet was savaged in a terrifying attack.
Teaching assistant Justine Griffiths says her West Highland Terrier, named Pennie, “could have been killed” when it was set upon by another dog.
Mrs Griffiths was with dog-owning pals when she took Pennie for a stroll on Tunstall Village Green.
The dog needed three stitches around her spine after the incident. She also has a zig-zap-shaped scar on her right leg where she was bitten.
Mrs Griffiths believes it was a German shepherd breed of dog which carried out the attack on Pennie.
Her appeal comes just days after the Echo reported how mum-of-two Lisa Vickers’ cat was mauled by a dog in front of her children.
Lisa, her daughter Imogen Worthington, four, and son Joe Jackson, 15, were called out of their Peterlee home by a neighbour after a greyhound was seen biting their pet Molly.
Despite efforts to save the beloved moggy, she later died of her injuries.
Mrs Griffiths, who is mum to Anthea, 19, and Alice, 17, is calling on those people who own dogs to take care when out and about.
The 44-year-old, who works at East Herrington Primary School, said: “This dog just came out and attacked my dog for no reason.
“I couldn’t believe it. I really think she could have been killed if I hadn’t been able to pull Pennie away.
“If my dog was just a puppy I’ve no doubt it would’ve been dead.
Pennie is now on the mend after treatment at a vet’s surgery in the city.
Mrs Griffiths, of Tunstall Vale, says she wants to see dogs kept on leads more often to reduce the risk of the more aggressive breeds getting into fightss.
“I just want people to be more aware of what is going on with their dogs and be more responsible as well,” said Mrs Griffiths, who is married to Colin, 51.
“I’ve called all the authorities and the RSPCA have been absolutely lovely about it.
“I just hope people take my advice and keep their dogs on leads.”