Image: Call for clamp down on dangerous dogs following attacks at Pakefield

Two Lowestoft families hit out this week at 'irresponsible' dog owners after they fell victim to two separate attacks in Pakefield.

Louise Fitt and Michelle Hicks spoke of their anger after the traumatic incidents, which left a teenage girl bruised and a beloved pet close to death.

The first attack happened at about 4.30pm on Monday, August 6 after Mrs Hicks' 15-year-old daughter Georghia Hannant became 'hysterical' when a dog began biting a horse she was riding on Pakefield beach.

Just over a week later, on Tuesday, August 14 Mrs Fitt was left with a �750 vets bill when her Chihuahua cross suffered a life-threatening injuries in an attack by another dog at the All Saints Road car park.

Both women are now calling for tougher laws to punish owners who fail to control their pets, as both incidents were caused by dogs roaming off the lead.

Describing the attack on her dog Lily, Mrs Fitt, a 39-year-old post officer clerk, said: 'The family were all sitting in the car eating our tea, while the dogs were tied up to a post outside.

'Then this dog came out of nowhere at about 6.40pm and started mauling our little dog Lily – throwing her around like a little rag doll in its mouth. The attack wounded our dog, so we contacted the police but they didn't want to know. 'We took her to the vets in Gorleston where they kept her in overnight and decided to operate because there was a risk of infection. When they opened her up they realised her lung had been punctured and her sternum had been crushed – she was lucky to survive.

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'We don't feel we are responsible for this because at no point were our dogs untethered. If you have an animal you have to be responsible for it, and you should have to pay the other person's vets bill if it attacks their dog.'

Mrs Hicks, a 34-year-old carer, said she believed all dogs should be kept on leads at Pakefield beach to prevent a repeat of the attack that left Georghia injured.

She said: 'My 15-year-old daughter had come from Oulton Broad down to Pakefield beach on our horse Ollie. This dog then appeared and started attacking Ollie's bag legs while the owner was half way down the beach.

'The dog bit Ollie's back legs for about six minutes, and the dogs did get kicked by the horse. The dog bit Georghia on the leg as well and bruised her.

'The dogs that go down that part of the beach should be put on leads because horses go there as well.'

A Suffolk spokesman police said: 'If a dog attacks and injures a person this is a criminal offence, but if a dog attacks another pet animal this usually isn't covered by criminal legislation. However the owner of the attacked animal may be able to take civil action against the person who was in charge of the offending dog.

'It is the responsibility of all dog owners to keep their animals under proper control at all times.'

Police need to trace the woman whose dog attacked the horse. She is white, in her 40s, of medium to large build, with blonde hair and was wearing a pink stripy top. The dog had a coat with a light brown-dark brown mix.

? If you can help, call PC 1396 Groom at Lowestoft police on 101.

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