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.