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‘It left claw marks on my neck’ - Woman bitten and her dog mauled by off-lead bullmastiff

PUBLISHED: 16:08 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 18:46 20 July 2020

Lynsey Colbert was attacked while trying to prise a dog off of her own pet at Hemsby on Friday. Picture: Lynsey Colbert

Lynsey Colbert was attacked while trying to prise a dog off of her own pet at Hemsby on Friday. Picture: Lynsey Colbert

Lynsey Colbert

A woman whose pet was mauled by an off-lead Bullmastiff while out walking hopes police will “make an example” of the attack by prosecuting the dog’s owner.

Ms Colbert's was herself bitten in the process, with the other dog leaving scratch marks all over her neck. Photo: Lynsey ColbertMs Colbert's was herself bitten in the process, with the other dog leaving scratch marks all over her neck. Photo: Lynsey Colbert

Lynsey Colbert was walking her Samoyed, Yogi, near The Marrams in Hemsby with her mum last Friday at 8.40pm when her pet was attacked by a Bullmastiff.

She said: “The dog wasn’t on a lead, and came sprinting over to my dog from 70 feet away. It then began biting Yogi and clawing at his neck.

“There were three of us - me, my mum and the owner - trying to prise him off for about a minute before the Bullmastiff eventually yielded.

“I had to go to hospital with 7 puncture wounds and there were claw marks on my neck, but luckily our Samoyed was fine.

Ms Colbert's Samoyed dog, Yogi, who was mauled by a bull mastiff on Hemsby beach last Friday. Photo: Lynsey ColbertMs Colbert's Samoyed dog, Yogi, who was mauled by a bull mastiff on Hemsby beach last Friday. Photo: Lynsey Colbert

“He was shaken up, but the vet said he was saved by his fluff, which is so bushy the other dog’s teeth hadn’t been able to penetrate very far.”

According to Norfolk Police, the owner of the offending dog was also bitten, and an investigation is taking place following the attack.

Ms Colbert’s partner, Matthew Kelly, said he “really hoped” the police would take action.

He said: “They seemed to suggest this might be a civil issue, but that owner should be punished for not being able to control their pet.

Ms Colbert's Samoyed dog, Yogi, who was mauled by a bull mastiff on Hemsby beach last Friday. Photo: Lynsey ColbertMs Colbert's Samoyed dog, Yogi, who was mauled by a bull mastiff on Hemsby beach last Friday. Photo: Lynsey Colbert

“If that had been a child the dog had gone after, I truly think they would have been maimed for life.”

Great Yarmouth Borough Council, between 2015 - April 2020, destroyed 14 dangerous dogs - more than any other council in Norfolk.

While King’s Lynn and North Norfolk councils said they did not hold the relevant information, Broadland revealed it had destroyed 6 dogs over the same time period, while South Norfolk, Breckland and Norwich had not destroyed any.

In response to the attack on Friday, Hemsby Lifeboat issued a statement after they dressed Ms Colbert’s wounds on site.

The crew had been meeting down at the station and received the call for help from Ms Colbert’s partner.

They treated her injuries and advised her to seek further medical attention, stressing that “all dogs must be kept under control when walking on the beach”.

The plea to keep dogs on leads has been echoed by Sylvia Veal, whose husband was attacked by a similar breed of dog at Hemsby last October.

She said: “We have a chalet in Hemsby, and this incident just made us totally weary about taking our dog out in the area.”

People with information about Friday’s attack can contact Norfolk Police, quoting reference number 36/48099/20.


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