The owners of three ‘killer Pitbull type’ dogs allegedly responsible for the death of a beloved pet Jack Russell and a string of other attacks around south London have yet to be arrested.
Two of the dogs allegedly mauled the pet to death in Norwood Park in front of horrified onlookers, also injuring one of its owners in the process.
The terrier’s family reported the attack to police after being left terrified by the level of violence displayed by the dogs which they say were unmuzzled and off-lead dogs.
They also told police that they were verbally abused and threatened by one of the owners of the ‘dangerous dogs’ during the incident on the evening of June 7.
More than two weeks later and despite a high profile campaign to catch those responsible, the suspected owners and their animals remain at large.
A petition, set up by the victims, called ‘Stop the killer dogs of Crystal Palace’ has now received more than 4,600 signatures.
Alongside a photograph of the alleged perpetrators being provided to police, residents in the Crystal Palace and Gipsy Hill areas say they have also passed on their names and address to police as the animals are well known in the area and linked to other attacks on pet in the Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace and Sydenham areas.
On Wednesday, June 23, a Met spokesperson confirmed that there had been no arrests or dogs seized but enquiries were ‘ongoing’.
Ulrick McKnight and his partner Sonia Faleiro had been having a picnic on the evening of the shocking attack with their young daughter and pet terrier Zoey.
Writing on neighbourhood social networking website NextDoor, Ulrick recalled: “We realised that the dogs were approaching us, at least 50 feet from their owners, and I went to pick up Zoey.
“The largest of the dogs grabbed her by the head, locking its jaw.
“The owners did nothing.
“I ended up literally fighting the dog trying to free Zoey, and then the second one attacked us as well.
“I was laying on the ground with my arms around the first dog’s neck in a headlock at this point.
“I found out afterwards from my four year-old-daughter that the third dog was somewhere close to her while my wife was screaming at the owners to get their dogs.”
Zoey was rushed to the emergency vets in Paxton Green, near Gipsy Hill, but sadly died from her injuries.
At the time of the attack she was fifteen-years-old and blind. Ulrick was also injured trying to save her life.
The family’s petition is calling for tougher action from the police and the London Mayor, believing that if the animals are not seized and action taken against their owners it will not be long before someone – possibly a child – is seriously hurt or even killed.
In another reported incident over the end of May Bank Holiday Saturday, a ten-year-old epileptic lurcher was attacked, while on a lead in Crystal Palace Park by a ‘staffie-type’ dog. It survived but one of its owners was bitten in the face.
This week, a woman who asked to remain anonymous, contacted the News reporting that she was attacked by three dogs in Walworth, who also launched themselves at another passerby after running out a nearby residential building.
She is now too afraid to leave her house after being left in a ‘never-ending wait’ on the phone to try to speak with police.
Despite reporting the incident several times, she claims she has yet to hear back from officers.
“The whole thing lasted about ten minutes. I was shaking and crying,” she said.
“I had scratches down my legs that were bleeding and my clothes were torn.
“The owner had no control over them and couldn’t stop them. They were allowed to be out without a collar, muzzle or leads.
“I have tried to contact the police but their update line is a never-ending wait.
“I sent an email but all I got was another crime number.
“We still don’t know if the dogs are still there. I am scared to go out in case it happens again and don’t know what to do.
“They could kill a child easily. I am so scared and worried.”
Police confirmed they were called to the scene and a 46-year-old man was hospitalised with a bite to the leg who was subsequently discharged. No trace of any dogs or their owner were found despite an ‘extensive search’ and CCTV also failed to identify any suspects. Anyone with information should call 101. .
Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-ban-dangerous-dogs