I want to share a harrowing experience I recently had with an XL Bully attack while walking my Chorkie, Scooby, in Willow Park, Newton Le Willows.
As is our routine, I was meeting my friend Ste and his two Cockapoo dogs in Willow Park. The park has two levels: the top level has a grassy area and a play area, while the bottom part features a lake, grass, and a path leading to farmers’ fields. As I approached the park, I heard screams and shouts for help. I called out to see if anyone would respond, and a woman came down the stairs from the top level, warning me about dogs up there. I decided to call the police at 18:26 PM. The woman appeared again saying police had already been called and then disappeared.
Shortly after my call, an XL Bully and a white Staffy-type dog descended the stairs and targeted Scooby. I shouted for the dog to stay away. The XL Bully latched onto Scooby’s throat. The woman came and grabbed the Staffy by the collar and demanded the XL come to no use. Despite my desperate attempts to free him by punching the dog, it wouldn’t let go. In a split second, the dog dropped its grasp – I grabbed Scooby in my arms and shielded him and ran up the stairs. The dog kept jumping up – fixated on attacking him no matter what.
A young man nearby helped me by taking Scooby up in his arms while I continued to fend off the attacking dog. The dog continued to come at us both. Scooby escaped and ran down the stairs. In order to give him a fighting chance, I made the decision to hold on the Bully XL to the ground. The dog moved forward, and both of us rolled down the steps.
When I got up, I ran down to the bottom of the steps where the Bully XL continued to try and attack Scooby. I subdued the dog by grabbing its neck (it had no collar) and used all my weight to force it to lie down.
By the time the police and a dog handler arrived, Scooby had found refuge in some long grass. He sustained multiple injuries, including a deep puncture wound to his chest. I had scrapes and bruises on my knuckles, arms, and legs.
Emotionally, the trauma still lingers. Scooby remains friendly, but I am different. I’ve become anxious and hyper-alert during our walks. I’m no longer relaxed around big dogs. Barking dogs can be triggering. The haunting sound Scooby made during the attack is something I can’t shake off. I’m hoping things will get better with time.
The Bigger Picture
What makes this incident particularly alarming is that three other dogs and three people also sustained injuries. The dog was getting tired. Had he attacked Scooby first – who knows what may have happened. Two children under the age of 5 were in the park with a grandparent, dangerously close to the chaos. Despite the severity of the incident, the response from local leaders, including MPs and councillors, has been disappointingly lackluster. They haven’t shown any notice, understanding or empathy – despite these incidents being on the increase in our area.
A Call for Change
I fully support Bully Watch’s campaign The emotional and physical toll of such incidents is immense, and it’s high time our leaders took notice and acted responsibly.
Jackie has also launched a Petition here calling to ban the Bully XL: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/642809