A family who looked on in terror as their beloved pet cat was mauled to death on their driveway say they feel let down by the way dangerous animal cases are dealt with by law.
Vivienne Teakle had just pulled up to her home in White Hart Drive, Adeyfield, when she witnessed two Staffordshire bull terrier-type dogs viciously attack their 13-year-old cat Tumbelina.
The 35 year old, who was with children Shannon, 18, and Jamie, 12, at the time, desperately sounded her car horn to alert husband Martin, 39, to the horrifying scene.
While Martin did his best to try and fend off the unleashed dogs, he sustained a bite to the ankle and was unable to save the life of the puss, who they referred to affectionately as ‘Tumble’.
Vivienne said: “It was like watching a horror movie. We shouldn’t have had to see that, she should have been able to die of old age. “She wasn’t your average cat, she was so affectionate and would literally wrap her paws around you to hug you.
“The house feels weird without her and I feel scared any time I step out onto my drive. It has traumatised us.”
The animal-loving family, who have two other cats and three dogs, ensured a ‘post-mortem’ type examination was carried out on Tumbelina to gauge the full extent of her injuries. It was found she had bite holes on her head and punctures to her chest and abdomen. The vet described evidence of a ‘brutal attack’, while Vivienne says she has since discovered her cat’s fur, claws and scratch marks outside her home.
Though a 39-year-old woman is due to face court on charges of allowing her dogs to be dangerously out of control in public, Vivienne says she is disgusted the two ferocious animals were not seized or professionally assessed.
According to police, the decision to seize dogs is dependent on individual circumstances, and it would be for a court to impose sanctions against the owner.
Vivienne said: “We feel let down that these dogs are free to be kept by their owner or passed on to anyone without them being properly assessed.
“I am a dog lover and would hate to see mine be put down – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone – but if they had attacked an animal or child like that I’d take them straight down to the vet.”
The incident follows the fatal mauling of Yorkshire terrier Fergus by a bull mastiff-type dog at Northchurch Common earlier this month, though the owner of the attacking animal escaped court.