WHAT was supposed to be a picturesque walk along a sun-soaked Climping beach, with their beloved family pet, turned into a “terrifying nightmare” when a Yapton family’s 14-week-old puppy was savagely mauled by two Staffordshire bull terriers.
Adorable pup Kipper was left needing urgent medical care after two “brutish-looking” terriers attacked him at about 5.30pm on Saturday (March 10).
Kipper’s owners, Robert Pontet, 63 and his partner Sarah Randall, 49, were left horrified as the two dogs viciously bit the tiny Lakeland Jack Russell cross, before dragging him along the beach, violently shaking him.
Robert, of The Pines, Yapton, rushed to Kipper’s aid, along with around a dozen other shocked witnesses.
He said: “Kipper was covered in blood. It was truly horrifying.
“The Staffies weren’t on leads. The owner had absolutely no control over them whatsoever.
“I had to beat the dogs off with a heavy stick, while other witnesses kicked and struggled with them, before they eventually let Kipper go.”
Robert said that when he confronted the owner of the dogs, and her partner, she simply shrugged her shoulders and walked away, towards West Beach.
“She showed absolutely no remorse,” Robert said. “She said, ‘Oh, it’s a puppy, it will bounce right back’. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.”
He added that Kipper was meant to be a birthday present for the couple’s 10-year-old daughter, Phoebe, who was at a friend’s house, during the attack.
He said: “Instead of enjoying her birthday with her puppy, Phoebe had to spend the whole weekend worrying if her puppy would live. She was absolutely distraught.”
The dog was rushed to a vets’ practice in Chichester, where he was sedated before being taken to an overnight animal hospital in Portsmouth for further treatment.
Kipper has now returned to the family’s home but the extent of the damage is still not clear.
Robert said: “He was severely injured. There were puncture wounds on his body from where he was bitten and we’re not sure if he will regain the full use of his leg.
“So far, his treatment has cost about £1,000, but luckily we’re insured.
“Frankly, it isn’t about the money. It’s the fact this could have been so much worse. Lord only knows what would have happened if Pheobe was walking Kipper. She could have been ripped apart.”
The family is now urging anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
A spokesman said Sussex Police was aware of the attack and was investigating it.
Sarah described the female dog walker as average build and height, and around 55-years-old with dyed, jet-black hair which was long down her back and shorter and spiked at the front and top.
The man was of stocky build between 5ft 5in and 5ft 7in. He was in his late 50s and carrying a 3ft wooden stick.
One of the dogs was black and the other was white with little black spots at its rear. There was a third dog which played no part in the attack.
The woman told Robert that the dogs were called Sandy and Spot, but he is positive he heard her call one of the dogs Freddie. She also provided a false address in Wick.