Owner speaks of horror at watching her greyhound get mauled to death in north Watford

Watford Observer: Mauled to death: Smokey Mauled to death: Smokey

The owner of a 10-year-old rescue greyhound has spoken of her horror after witnessing her dog being fatally mauled by a bullmastiff in north Watford.

Heather Parkes had to have Smokey put down after the attack as her injuries were so horrific.

The 65-year-old, who lives in Norfolk Avenue, said a white and brown mastiff-type dog lunged at her "gentle old lady" as they walked in a wooded area off of Bushey Mill Lane, known locally as Mundon Oak, .

She said: "I was walking Smokey as usual. I saw a man on Bushey Mill Lane with a mastiff-type dog which was hauling him along.

"He said two dogs there were friends and wanted to play.

"I was starting to move on, when his dog lunged at Smokey.

"It grabbed her face and crushed her muzzle. It wouldn’t let go. I rushed her to the vets, but there was nothing they could do to save her."

Heather adopted Smokey, a unique greyhound-wolfhound cross, in September 2012 through Greyhound Rescue West of England.

She said she has been having flashbacks of the "traumatic attack".

She added: "It’s a dreadful thing to happen to this poor dog. She had a lovely character. She used to dance around the hall. She was so pleased to be alive everyday, it’s a terrible loss."

Police are looking to speak to a white man of slim build in his 40s or 50s in relation to the incident at around 11am in the wooded area off of Bushey Mill Lane, known locally as Mundon Oak, on Sunday.

Officers are also investigating a second serious dog attack in the area.

Pat Sperry, 68, is the owner of five-month-old Marley and said a large, light brown dog sprang out the bushes on Otterspool Way and grabbed the puppy by his throat.

Pat, of Westlea Avenue, said: "We were very, very lucky. We took him straight to the emergency vet in Hemel Hempstead. He’s been left with scarring, bruising and he’s very shaken by what happened.

"The attack was completely out of the blue. Marley was on a lead. It could just have easily have been a child.

"I’m a responsible dog owner, other people should be as well."

Anyone with information about the attacks is asked to call Hertfordshire Constabulary via its 101 number quoting  reference C4/14/1349 for the attack on Smokey and reference J2/14/756 for the attack on Marley.

Comments (11)

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11:26pm Wed 9 Jul 14

cgpc Rob says...

Should all dogs be muzzled when out?

What if next time, it's a small child etc!
Should all dogs be muzzled when out? What if next time, it's a small child etc! cgpc Rob
  • Score: -1

11:50pm Wed 9 Jul 14

misty177 says...

I feel terribly upset after reading this. I have often seen this lady walking her dogs on the Rugby field and they are always on their leads. This lady keeps herself to herself, her dogs never bother other dogs, I am so upset for her loss.
I really hope that anyone who knows the owner of the bull mastiff contact's the police.
The owner must be held account for what his dog has done.
Poor gentle Smokey has lost his life, next time it could be a child.
My sympathies go to Heather a most caring and responsible dog owner. RIP Smokey!
I feel terribly upset after reading this. I have often seen this lady walking her dogs on the Rugby field and they are always on their leads. This lady keeps herself to herself, her dogs never bother other dogs, I am so upset for her loss. I really hope that anyone who knows the owner of the bull mastiff contact's the police. The owner must be held account for what his dog has done. Poor gentle Smokey has lost his life, next time it could be a child. My sympathies go to Heather a most caring and responsible dog owner. RIP Smokey! misty177
  • Score: 20

11:53pm Wed 9 Jul 14

misty177 says...

Give a description of the owner and bull mastiff, someone out there knows them. Please report to the police. RIP Smokey
Give a description of the owner and bull mastiff, someone out there knows them. Please report to the police. RIP Smokey misty177
  • Score: 12

11:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Cuetip says...

Just wondering if anyone should be allowed to own a dog without a license given the number of dogs that are abandoned, ill treated and used as a 'weapon'..
Just wondering if anyone should be allowed to own a dog without a license given the number of dogs that are abandoned, ill treated and used as a 'weapon'.. Cuetip
  • Score: 11

8:07am Thu 10 Jul 14

cgpc Rob says...

In 2016 all dogs will by law have to be chipped, why not now!
In 2016 all dogs will by law have to be chipped, why not now! cgpc Rob
  • Score: 7

1:31pm Thu 10 Jul 14

Phoenix Keeper says...

Even if the dog was chipped that would not have helped as the owner appears to have merely wandered off with the dog after the attack rather than face up to the consequences of the dogs actions.

It is easy to notice more and more of the aggressive breeds of dogs walking around North Watford with their owners and with the dogs not on leads. I think a lot of the owners see them as status symbols and giving them the appearance of someone not to be messed with.
Even if the dog was chipped that would not have helped as the owner appears to have merely wandered off with the dog after the attack rather than face up to the consequences of the dogs actions. It is easy to notice more and more of the aggressive breeds of dogs walking around North Watford with their owners and with the dogs not on leads. I think a lot of the owners see them as status symbols and giving them the appearance of someone not to be messed with. Phoenix Keeper
  • Score: 5

3:53pm Thu 10 Jul 14

pr76uk says...

My advice would be, if you walk your dog, take a big rock with you and then you can smash the dog's skull in.

Then chuck it at the owner!
My advice would be, if you walk your dog, take a big rock with you and then you can smash the dog's skull in. Then chuck it at the owner! pr76uk
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Thu 10 Jul 14

cgpc Rob says...

If the dog was abandoned after the attack, then the owner could possibly be traced, also someone might ask, where's your dog gone.
If the dog was abandoned after the attack, then the owner could possibly be traced, also someone might ask, where's your dog gone. cgpc Rob
  • Score: 0

3:40pm Fri 11 Jul 14

Daxtons Friends says...

Daxton’s Friends serves as a resource for legislators and legislation bodies addressing canine related public safety. Our goal is to support the implementation of tools to ensure healthy canine ownership and public safety.
The Bullmastiff originates from England and is a cross of the English Mastiff and the Olde English Bulldog (this is not the wheezing, waddling Winston Churchill Bulldog, but the original, agile bear-baiting / pit-fighting bulldog). Bull Mastiffs are approximately 60% English Mastiff and 40% Olde English Bulldog and were recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1924. They were not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1933. It is required that three generations of Mastiff – fighting bulldog mixes be registered as purebreds before a dog could enter to be judged. They were known for size, strength, and loyalty. The lineage of the Bull Mastiff can be traced back as early as 1795. These canines were originally bred to be gamekeepers and to guard the estates of their owners. Mastiffs could easily track and hold poachers on the property. They were used to guard diamonds for the “Diamond Society of South Africa”. Today they still used as guard and attack dogs and as companion animals.
The Bullmastiff requires minimal grooming and does not shed excessively. An occasional brushing and bath will suffice. They are highly prone to hereditary diseases and conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, entropion, and lymphoma. They are also prone to arthritis and bloat7. They weigh between 100-133 lbs and typically live 7-8 years.
In North America, from 1982-2013, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 2,990 humans that resulted in 1,777 maimings and 275 deaths.
In North America, from 1982-2013, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 105 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 61 maimings and 15 deaths.
Read more by visiting http://www.daxtonsfr
iends.com/bullmastif
f/
Daxton’s Friends serves as a resource for legislators and legislation bodies addressing canine related public safety. Our goal is to support the implementation of tools to ensure healthy canine ownership and public safety. The Bullmastiff originates from England and is a cross of the English Mastiff and the Olde English Bulldog (this is not the wheezing, waddling Winston Churchill Bulldog, but the original, agile bear-baiting / pit-fighting bulldog). Bull Mastiffs are approximately 60% English Mastiff and 40% Olde English Bulldog and were recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1924. They were not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1933. It is required that three generations of Mastiff – fighting bulldog mixes be registered as purebreds before a dog could enter to be judged. They were known for size, strength, and loyalty. The lineage of the Bull Mastiff can be traced back as early as 1795. These canines were originally bred to be gamekeepers and to guard the estates of their owners. Mastiffs could easily track and hold poachers on the property. They were used to guard diamonds for the “Diamond Society of South Africa”. Today they still used as guard and attack dogs and as companion animals. The Bullmastiff requires minimal grooming and does not shed excessively. An occasional brushing and bath will suffice. They are highly prone to hereditary diseases and conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, entropion, and lymphoma. They are also prone to arthritis and bloat7. They weigh between 100-133 lbs and typically live 7-8 years. In North America, from 1982-2013, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 2,990 humans that resulted in 1,777 maimings and 275 deaths. In North America, from 1982-2013, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 105 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 61 maimings and 15 deaths. Read more by visiting http://www.daxtonsfr iends.com/bullmastif f/ Daxtons Friends
  • Score: -2

4:14pm Fri 11 Jul 14

misty177 says...

Its the boneheads who own these type dogs that concern me. I had one of these dogs lunge at my dog when they were both on leads. The bloke said he don't like other dogs? If he goes for another dog when he is on a lead, then should he not be muzzled when out in the community. Boneheads the lot of them!
Its the boneheads who own these type dogs that concern me. I had one of these dogs lunge at my dog when they were both on leads. The bloke said he don't like other dogs? If he goes for another dog when he is on a lead, then should he not be muzzled when out in the community. Boneheads the lot of them! misty177
  • Score: 0

12:03pm Wed 16 Jul 14

jasperandjan says...

Dogs on a lead when in public by law please. Penalty for not doing so - confiscation of the dog which is then destroyed and Public naming of the irresponsible owner.

Result - the potential for dog attacks in public is completely removed. Then all responsible owners (such as this poor lady) would be able to walk their dogs without fear!

This problem is then so easily resolvable. Why make it complicated?
Dogs on a lead when in public by law please. Penalty for not doing so - confiscation of the dog which is then destroyed and Public naming of the irresponsible owner. Result - the potential for dog attacks in public is completely removed. Then all responsible owners (such as this poor lady) would be able to walk their dogs without fear! This problem is then so easily resolvable. Why make it complicated? jasperandjan
  • Score: 0
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