Tuesday 21 January 2020

'Teddy cried as they tore into him' - pet savaged in front of his owner

Deirdre Daly holding a photograph of her Bichon Frise dog Teddy, who was mauled by two Pit Bull dogs, also in picture is her dog Amber. Photo: Mark Condren
Deirdre Daly holding a photograph of her Bichon Frise dog Teddy, who was mauled by two Pit Bull dogs, also in picture is her dog Amber. Photo: Mark Condren

A mother from Clontarf has been left heartbroken after her beloved dog was attacked by two bigger dogs on Dollymount Strand and had to be put down.

Deirdre Cotter Daly (52) was on a walk with her two dogs, Amber and Teddy, at around 8am on Tuesday when they saw two bigger dogs in the distance.

"At first, I thought they were golden Labradors or something like that. They were just calmly sitting there, with one of them having its leash hanging out of the collar," Ms Cotter Daly recalled.

"All of a sudden they started walking towards us. I picked up Amber, because she is only a small teacup terrier and I was worried. I also had a stick with me for the walk."


While the dogs came closer, she realised that they were much bigger than Labradors.

She said that they resembled "a mix of pit bull and mastiff" and were golden beige in colour.

One came threateningly toward her and Amber, while the other one walked toward Teddy, a small bichon frise.

Ms Cotter Daly tried to scare away the dogs by shouting at them. When one got close to her, she swung the stick at him to keep him at bay.

"I had to protect Amber in my arms and I couldn't get to Teddy.

"All of a sudden, I heard Teddy screeching and crying when the other dog attacked him," she said. "He was biting him, holding him down by the neck and just tearing into him.

Dollymount Strand in Dublin
Dollymount Strand in Dublin

"The second one joined in when he couldn't get to me."

Ms Cotter Daly tried to defend her dog, but to no avail.

"I broke my stick on the head of one of them but he just wouldn't let Teddy go.

"One finally ran away but the other kept going. I screamed for help over and over again and after a while the second one finally ran off."

Two men heard her cries and helped her carry the badly injured dog to the street, from where gardai helped in getting him to the vet. Even the doctors were shocked by the severity of the attack.

"They told me that they had never seen such horrific injuries and that there was unfortunately no hope for my poor Teddy," she said.

Pit Bull dogs
Pit Bull dogs

She and her family had a chance to say their goodbyes to their beloved pet and "I was holding his paw while he went to sleep and passed away".

Gardai have since launched an investigation. "Gardai are investigating an alleged fatal attack on a dog by two other dogs on The Causeway Road, Raheny," they said.

"The injured dog was taken to the vet, where he had to be put down. Investigations are ongoing. The Dublin City Council's dog warden was informed of the incident."

Ms Cotter Daly is devastated about the loss of her dog with whom she had a special bond.

"In 2009, I was diagnosed with cancer. During the treatment, when I was sick in bed, Teddy was with me all day, every day," she said.

"It was like he was minding me. I never felt alone. I was just mad about him and he was mad about me."

She also wished there were harsher consequences for people letting listed dog breeds run free without a leash and muzzle.

"This kind of dog should not just run free in a public area. But the owners know they could only get fined. The laws need to be changed," she said.

"I only afterwards realised that I was lucky myself," Ms Cotter Daly added.

"They could have easily turned on me as well. I wouldn't have stood a chance."

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