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Attack by ‘outlawed’ dog costs dog owners £12k

A dog attack in Congleton has left a family with a £12,000 vet bill.

Libby Banks and her 13-year-old daughter Amelia were walking their labradoodle Murphy on Lamberts Lane by the new Seddon Homes estate at 6.45pm last Friday when it happened.

A bulldog clamped its jaws around Murphy’s midriff, puncturing the two-year-old’s lung and thorax, fracturing three ribs and ripping his diaphragm.

Mrs Banks explained that both dogs were on leads at the time but the one that attacked Murphy, which she said was a cross between an XL American bulldog and a red nose pitbull, was too strong for the couple walking it.

She added that after realising the extent of the injuries they claimed the dog was not theirs.

“My dog didn’t know he was there, he came at him and Murphy managed to get away, then all of a sudden he was in his mouth,” Mrs Banks said.

“This is a dangerous dog. I spoke to the RSPCA and the police, but they both weren’t interested and I didn’t think it was right because I thought it was an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

“Last Thursday (15th), there was a discussion in Parliament about adding the XL American Bully, a fairly new breed of bulldog, to the banned list – and a day later my dog was attacked by one.”

She described how to get the dog off Murphy, the man began to “repetitively punch it in the face, which caused him to get bitten on the hand”.

“At the time the lady said, ‘we’ll pay, we’ll pay’ and said nothing about the dog not being hers, now she’s saying it’s not hers,” Mrs Banks said.

Following the attack Murphy was rushed to Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Runcorn where he underwent surgery to the tune of £12,100.

Mrs Banks went to fetch him on Thursday evening. As she waited for the final invoice this week she said: “They’ve operated on him but there’s still air getting into his thorax. We don’t know if he’s going to be alright, he might need a second operation.

“The other dog doesn’t have any insurance, so I’m expected to pick up the bill. The couple who were walking the dog said it was someone else’s dog and gave me a number but they’ve not replied to me.”

CCTV at a neighbouring property caught the aftermath of the attack on camera, which shows Mrs Banks and her daughter fleeing with Murphy in their hands.

Amelia added: “I’ve found it quite hard because I’ve really missed Murphy and it was horrible to see him like that.

“He’s very friendly to all dogs, and if there’s a massive dog he’ll always ‘say hello’ – usually dogs his size would be scared of bigger dogs but he’s not.”

Both Cheshire Police and the RSPCA were asked for a comment but did not respond.

(Photos: Libby Banks).

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