Spaniel battling cancer housebound after greyhound attack
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
A Hellesdon pensioner and her spaniel both battling cancer are housebound after 11-year-old Daisy was attacked by two greyhounds during her walk last week.
And owner Vera Watson, 81, who lives alone, fears there may not be much time left for her cocker spaniel companion after she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in December.
Last Thursday the pair were walking on the playing fields behind Woodville Road when a greyhound latched its jaws around Daisy's head.
Its owner grabbed Ms Watson's walking stick to dislodge the dog, in doing so dropping the lead for a second greyhound, which joined the attack.
'That day was just mayhem, but it was over in seconds,' said Ms Watson. 'I can't do a great deal, but if I wasn't carrying a walking stick Daisy would be dead now. They almost tore her leg off.
'I live alone so you can imagine how much she means to me. I am absolutely housebound now, because I can't bear to leave her.
'The week before Christmas she had a lump come up on her back which turned out to be an aggressive cancer, so I might only have her for another six months. Now she has to go through this, it doesn't seem fair.'
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Ms Watson is calling for more regulation for ex-racing greyhounds being adopted in the community. 'These dogs should all be muzzled, even the kennels say so,' she said.
'These greyhounds are vicious and trained to kill the rabbits they are chasing around the tracks. Some mornings there can be a dozen of them on those fields off their leads.
'I think the responsibility should lie with the kennels giving these out to people. They need to have them there for some time to see what their temperament is going to be, not just let them out of they are going to bite someone. If they decide to go after a little dog, the owner can't do anything about it.'
Norfolk Police are now investigating the incident, and Ms Watson has paid out more than £700 in vet bills for Daisy.
Fen Bank Greyhound Sanctuary, based in Lincolnshire, have apologised to Ms Watson after discovering their dogs had been involved.
Vice chairman Paul Bryan told her the charity had spoken with the dog owner, who has 'considerable knowledge and experience of the breed', about safety.
'As animal lovers, we are very much aware of how distressing this type of occurrence can be for all owners and animals involved,' he said.
'As you correctly surmised, the greyhounds are from this Sanctuary. 'We have talked with [him] about the incident and also the methods and merits of controlling pets when out exercising them, the use of muzzles and ensuring they are on a lead. 'These are some of the actions we advocate for all dog owners, not only those adopting a greyhound from our charity.'