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Owner's distress at horrific attack on her pet dog Bella

By West Briton  |  Posted: December 20, 2012

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A DOG-LOVER whose beloved cocker spaniel was left badly mauled in a terrifying dog attack on a beach is asking for help to trace the owners of two English bull terriers.

Deana Lawden from Frogpool says she was walking her two spaniels, Bella and Tips, on Lelant Beach near Hayle on Sunday morning when they walked past a couple with a pair of bull terriers.

One of the terriers attacked her older dog, Bella, and locked her jaws around her face.

She said: "The dog lunged at her and grabbed her face. It was horrific and would not let go. I was punching it in the face to try and get it to let go."

She appealed to the dog's male owner to help and says she was told to shut up.

Mrs Lawden said: "The dog eventually let go leaving Bella with a large part of the side of her face hanging loose. I was mortified and very upset."

The man then refused to give his name and address but his female companion intervened and agreed to swap details back at their cars.

Mrs Lawden, 54, said: "When we got back to the cars parked by St Uny church I put my dogs in the car and went back to speak to them and they had driven off."

Bella was rushed to the vets for surgery and had to have her face stitched back together. Mrs Lawden, who normally walks Bella and Tips with husband Martin, said Bella was a "typical cocker spaniel, they love everybody and she loves them".

She said: "This attack was unprovoked and the dog gave no body language that it was nasty. The dog just lunged so fast."

Now Bella's concerned owner wants help to trace the owners of the bull terriers. She said: "What if this happens regularly or if it had been a child? I can't sleep at night."

The couple are described as in their forties. The man was 6ft 2in tall with close-shaven hair, the woman around 5ft 4in with dark shoulder-length hair.

"It is believed they had a dark estate car with dog cages in the back.

Inspector Jean Philips from Devon and Cornwall Police said anyone with information should contact the police by dialling 101, and ask for their information to be passed to the St Ives neighbourhood team.

She said: "We would like to hear from anyone who saw what happened or knows anything about this incident."

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