Grandma’s grief after pet dog mauled to death in street attack

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A grandmother of two has spoken of her anguish after her beloved chihuahua was mauled to death by an English bull terrier as she took it for a morning walk.

Rita Jones sustained heavy bruising herself from the incident as she tried in vain to save her two year-old pet Honeybud from the terrier, which flew into a rage as the dogs and their walkers crossed each other on a path near Albert Drive in Morley in January.

The man walking the terrier was given a four month suspended sentence at Leeds Crown Court last week and ordered to keep the killer dog muzzled in public, though it will not be put down.

Animal lover Rita, who has received certificates of recognition for her work with the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals Charity (PDSA) charity, has been left heavily traumatised by the incident and is now receiving counselling from a specialist up to three times a week over the phone.

Speaking after the incident she said: “Nothing will bring Honeybud back. I’m devastated, there’s a place on my pillow upstairs on a night that’s empty and there’s a brick in my heart.

“I fought tooth and nail to save her, I did my absolute utmost. We should have gone a different way - we should have gone somewhere else but I didn’t see it coming.”

“I just keep seeing it over and over again in my head. It’s like a tape recorder that I can’t switch off. The memory will always be with me. Over time the image may fade but it’s something I’ll take to my grave.”

Rita, 63, is now receiving counselling from a specialist in London up to three times a week over the phone and had to be prescribed sedatives by her doctor.

She added: “I’ve now got to get back to some level of normality but of course that’s easier said than done.

“I’m glad the dog doesn’t have to be put down because it was down to the walker at the end of the day. God help anyone who’s lost a child in this way because I can only imagine what that must be like.”

Rita also placed on her record her thanks to her neighbours, friends and family for their support, saying “I don’t know what I’d do without them.”