A pet owner says an attack dog tried to rip his prize pup limb-from-limb – a month before another of the same breed killed a baby.
The Mirror reports that Alan Hickman’s pet Molly was lucky to be alive following the ravaging she endured on February 25.
Over the course of a terrifying five minutes, an American Bully XL raced towards Alan and his Shih Tzu, snatching the pooch from his arms and clamping her in its jaws.
It took a barrage of punches from the 62-year-old and a flurry of kicks from a passer-by for the larger hound to relax its jaw.
In the month since the attack in Birmingham’s Manor Farm Park, Molly has made a good physical recovery yet remains a shadow of her former self.
Alan has also been left deeply shocked by the attack, which was carried out by the same breed of dog which killed Bella-Rae Birch in Liverpool last week.
“She was in such a state I thought she was going to die,” Alan told the Mirror.
“It had a head like a T-rex and a body like a Staffy on steroids.
“If it wanted to kill me, it would’ve. It’s like the owners were walking around with a loaded weapon.
“I would like the owners found and I hope that the dog is seized and destroyed.
“It is not a family pet, it is an extremely powerful, dangerous dog when those in charge of it are incapable and uninterested in attempting to control it.
“It is a potential killer. I believe it is a ‘tool of the trade’ rather than a family pet.”
Since 1980 the American Bully XL has emerged as a distinct breed, descended from the banned Pit Bull and recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 2013.
In the past four months it has been responsible for three deaths in the UK alone, including a 10-year-old and 17-month-old child.
When Alan saw the dog, which he estimated to weigh eight stone, barreling towards him last month he immediately felt uneasy.
“I didn’t like the look of the dog, so I picked Molly up and put her on my shoulder,” he explained.
“The other dog didn’t bark once. It didn’t make a sound. It started jumping up and was clearly after my dog. I was screaming at these people to come and get the dog.”
Two young boys, who were with two older women thought to be the owners, came over to Alan, but they were unable to get the American Bully to calm down.
“I was screaming at the utterly useless owners to get the dog off us but they did not move, they just stood and watched,” Alan continued, before explaining that the attacking dog grabbed Molly’s lead and pulled her to the ground.
“A couple on bikes were passing and they immediately came to help me. If it had not been for these guys Molly would have been literally torn to pieces.
“He had come straight from work and was cycling in safety boots with steel toe caps and he was kicking the dog as hard as he could while I continued punching it. It didn’t even flinch.
“Eventually it lost its grip on Molly and I was able to snatch her up. She was screeching and squealing, utterly distressed and covered in blood.
“The only concern expressed by the despicable owners of this animal was that we had been hitting their dog.”
The owners led their still-untethered dog away, leaving Alan to race to the vets as soon as he was sure they were gone from the area.
The animal doctor told him Molly was lucky to be alive, and had been spared a certain death by a matter of millimeters.
In the month since the attack she has healed well, but remains “very needy” and not her usual self.
Alan has spread word of the attack far and wide, but as of yet, no one has been able to identify the owners.
He believes that steps should be taken to ensure more attacks like the one on Molly, and on children like Bella-Rae, don’t happen.
“An officer from the West Midlands Police Dangerous Dog Unit told me ‘American XL Bullys are flavor of the month right now’,” Alan said.
“I predict that over the next 12 to 18 months we will see a massive rise in the number of attacks and fatalities as a result of unscrupulous breeding of these dogs.
“It is also worth noting that as well as an XL Bully there is an XXL Bully. No doubt someone somewhere is working on the creation of a triple XXXL bully.
“We may as well have saber-toothed tigers back on the streets.
“The law needs to be changed to stop breeders from ‘tweaking’ the DNA of killer dogs and claiming that they are legal breeds.”
Following the death of ten-year-old Jack Lis the Mirror called for the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act to be updated to ban more breeds.
Each year some 200,000 people are attacked by dogs in England. Since 2005 hospital admissions as a result of a dog attack have increased by 81%.
West Midlands Police say they’re making CCTV inquiries.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.