A SAVAGE ‘devil dog’ mauled a Yorkshire Terrier and clamped its jaws on a man’s hand for an agonising 40 minutes in an attack which has left the victim without feeling in his fingers.
Victim Thomas Linehan, 61, was taken to hospital for an emergency operation after the terrifying incident and has been warned by doctors his hand could have suffered permanent damage.
The terrier, called Lucky, which belongs to Mr Linehan’s step daughter, Natasha Page, 43, is making a ‘miraculous’ recovery after being rushed to a vet with injuries to its neck, following the incident in Estcourt Road, Fulham, last Tuesday (10).
Ms Page described the horror which unfolded as she left her step-father’s flat with Lucky. She said first the ‘pitbull-type’ dog sunk its teeth into her pet and then turned on her father, developing ‘lock jaw’ as it bit into his right hand.
"It was appalling, there was nothing I could do," said Ms Page. "My stepdad was in agony but this animal wouldn’t let go. He was screaming at me to try and get it off but it wouldn’t move. There was blood everywhere. I was kicking it and hitting it but nothing worked."
On the verge of passing out through shock and trying to tend to Lucky, who had suffered gaping wounds, Ms Page begged passers-by for help and someone called police.
By the time a specialist dog unit arrived to seize the feral beast, Mr Linehan’s hand had been in the animal’s mouth for 40 minutes. He was eventually set free and taken to hospital, where he had to have an operation on his fingers.
“He is in a lot of pain and can’t feel anything from his fourth finger,” said Ms Page. “The doctors are hoping it will come back, but aren’t sure.”
The incident began as she left Mr Linehan’s flat to go to the shop and the dog ran down towards Lucky with another larger animal, believed to have been a boxer dog.
“Lucky is tiny and as soon as it ran towards him I knew there was trouble,” said Ms Page, speaking after collecting her pet from the vet. “It was unbearable watching it unfold and it’s miraculous he is still alive.”
Police have arrested two 52-year-old men and bailed them until next month.
A spokesman said: "Police were called to Estcourt Road, SW6 at 11.37hrs on Tuesday, September 10 following reports of a dog dangerously out of control in a public place. A dog unit was called and promptly seized the Pitbull type dog and a large boxer-type dog which was found nearby in Dawes Road, SW6."