Scots pensioner begged for help as beloved pet was killed in 'frenzied attack' by two dogs

Norma Smith's dog Cass had to be put to sleep because of her injuries -Credit:WSH]
Norma Smith's dog Cass had to be put to sleep because of her injuries -Credit:WSH]

A pensioner begged for help as her beloved pet was killed in a 'frenzied attack' by two dogs, a court heard.

Norma Smith, 73, watched in horror as the Patterdale terriers mauled her Pomeranian dog Cass. Both terriers seized Cass and repeatedly bit the terrified animal on its head and body during the horror incident in August last year.

The injuries were so severe Cass died after being taken to the vets. Smith was left injured after she was repeatedly bitten on the body while another woman was also attacked after she intervened during the incident in Cleland, Lanarkshire.

She has since been receiving counselling and medication as she tries to recover from the trauma. The terriers' owner Barry Mimnaugh, 59, had previously been warned about their behaviour of his dogs Rocky and Ruby before they escaped from his back garden and launched their attacks.

Mimnaugh, of Cleland, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted being the owner of dogs which were dangerously out of control. Prosecutors have demanded the dogs, who are currently being held in kennels, be put down.

Cass had to be put to sleep following the mauling
Cass had to be put to sleep following the mauling -Credit:WSH

But they may be spared death if Mimnaugh can assure a sheriff he is a 'fit and proper' person to look after animals and a dog warden provides a positive report on their temperament. Depute fiscal Sinead Corrigan told the court how the horrifying attack unfolded.

She said: "The witness Smith had been walking her dog when the two Patterdale terriers approached and instantly became aggressive. They were growling and attacking the dog which resulted in several puncture wounds to the midriff.

"She made attempts to retrieve her dog but the terriers began to latch onto her and she began to shout for help which resulted in other people coming to her aid. One person grabbed one of the terriers and placed it in the rear of her vehicle and secured it before both dogs were secured by the accused's niece who had become aware of them escaping."

The prosecutor added: "The witness Smith described it as a terrifying and frenzied attack and she had to have five fingers bandaged due to the bites. She is now on medication and is receiving counselling as this has affected her so much and she finds the whole thing overwhelming due to her losing her 'innocent wee dog'."

Ian Scott, defending, said: "A report from the dog warden may change things here. I will ask him to provide all the information to me on risk management and I will provide photographs of the set-up to keep dogs at his home."

Sheriff Linda Nicolson deferred sentence on Mimnaugh until later this month.

She said: "Further information needs to be provided here in respect of both the temperament of the dogs and their past behaviour and whether you are a fit and able person to keep the dogs. I will also have to be addressed on the issue of risk."

Two charges which alleged the terriers were dangerously out of control and had attacked a 17-year-old girl in July last year were dropped by prosecutors.

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