Eddie, our 7-year-old Tibetan Terrier, was more than just a pet; he was a beloved member of our family. A gentle soul, Eddie was a part of our lives as our children grew up. He was the best dog anyone could dream of having. This is the story of how we lost Eddie to a tragic incident that could have been prevented.
On the afternoon of August 20th, around 4:30 PM, my husband took Eddie for his usual walk in the green space near our estate. As they ventured down the path leading to the children’s playground, they encountered a Bully XL dog. The dog was on a leash, held by a young woman. Sensing the potential danger posed by a large Bully breed, my husband immediately turned to walk away. Despite this precaution, the Bully XL became aggressive and lunged at Eddie, dragging its handler several meters before she lost control of the leash. The dog attacked Eddie from behind, inflicting catastrophic injuries to his stomach, legs, and back. The Bully XL wouldn’t let go and the attack was relentless.
Eventually, Eddie managed to escape and run home, crossing the whole of the estate and the main road, where concerned neighbours ensured he was safe. Eddie was a popular dog and instantly recognised by the local community. My husband, traumatized and shaken, took photos of the attacking dog and its owner before rushing after Eddie.
My husband then returned to the scene to find the woman and her dog, but they had vanished. After asking around, he located the apartment where the dog lived. The male owner answered the door, smoking a cigarette, and shockingly claimed that the incident was our fault. He argued that my husband shouldn’t have run away in fear upon seeing his dog.
The Medical Ordeal
Because it was a Sunday afternoon, we had to rush Eddie to an emergency vet 15 miles away. His wounds were stapled, and he was sent home with painkillers, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medication. However, his condition rapidly deteriorated. On Tuesday August 22, Eddie was admitted to intensive care at our local clinic and later transferred to a specialist vet hospital.
After five days of intensive care, the heart breaking decision was made to euthanize Eddie. His injuries were so severe that he would have needed multiple surgeries, blood transfusions, and skin grafts. The surgeon with 25 years of experience felt unqualified to operate due to the extent of the injuries and commented that such extensive damage was a rarity in his long career. Eddie was too weak to eat or drink and required a feeding tube.
Eddie died on August 25. Eddie’s family were there by his side, fighting for him every step of the way.
Community and Authorities: A Lackluster Response
The attack was witnessed by residents, including a 9-year-old girl. Despite filing a police report with witness testimonies and launching a Facebook appeal to identify the dog’s owner, the authorities have yet to take any meaningful action. The woman turned out to be the 18-year-old girlfriend of the dog’s owner, who lives in a housing association flat and is reportedly well-known to the police and local community for drug-related offenses and antisocial behaviour.
The owner has an alleged history of keeping aggressive dogs. Someone has come forward to say they were cautioned by the police in 2020 when his dogs attacked a woman and her dog. Neighbours report that the property is home to three other Bully dogs. Numerous dog owners have witnessed aggressive behaviour from these dogs but were fortunate to avoid an attack. Local authorities, including our MP and the housing association, have been unresponsive, citing various reasons like GDPR for their inaction. Greg Smith, the local MP, has yet to respond to a single email.
A Plea for Change
We are left with an irreplaceable void in our lives and hearts. My children are distraught. It is so hard waking up and knowing Eddie won’t be there to greet us anymore.
We believe that Eddie’s tragic fate highlights a systemic failure by various institutions to ensure public safety from dangerous dogs. From the housing association which placed someone with a history of owning dangerous dogs in our community to the police who knew the owner owned dangerous dogs and did nothing to protect the public.
We are now out of pocket. Our vet bills were averaging over £1000 a day. Most standard insurance policies for dogs will only cover £3000 for a single incident.
No action has been taken. The dog has not been seized. The dog in question is free to attack another dog or even a child with impunity. Many people assume that dangerous dogs are automatically removed and euthanized, but this is far from the truth. If more pet owners understood the lack of legal protection, there would likely be increased pressure on the government to enact change.
The police have in fact closed the case saying it does not meet the criteria to act under the dangerous dogs act. They’ve said that fatal dog on dog attacks do not classify as a crime. They’ve further told us that the owner denied ownership of the dog. We are left truly speechless.
We urgently call for stricter laws on dog ownership, particularly for breeds known to be dangerous. These dogs should be treated as potential weapons and regulated accordingly, ideally they should be banned altogether. The sad reality is that some people keep aggressive breeds like the Bully XL solely to intimidate and instil fear in others. Just a few weeks ago, my husband encountered a man with a Cane Corso puppy, a man who looked like he should never own dogs – let alone such a large one – raising concerns about another potential disaster waiting to happen.
Eddie was failed by a system that should have protected him. His life was not just lost; it was taken from him due to negligence and a lack of accountability. We share his story in the hope that it will serve as a catalyst for much-needed change in dog ownership laws.
Eddie, you were born a dog but died a gentleman. Your family fought for you every step of the way until your passing on August 27. Sleep tight and run free; no one can harm you now. You will forever be missed. 💔💔💔