A Sheffield couple is asking why their dog being nearly mauled to death by a loose Staffy is not considered an 'emergency' by police when 'the next victim could be a child'.
Sam and David Burbeary say they 'nearly lost' their 16-year-old terrier Lily when the out-of-control animal charged and savaged her while walking in Hackenthorpe on November 1.
Despite the harrowing incident, during which David reportedly had to pry Lily from the mouth of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the couple say police did not attend or update them on the case for two weeks, leaving them upset knowing the animal is still potentially loose in their neighbourhood.
The attack happened when David was walking Lily and their other dog Bailey close to the martial arts studio and Hogshead Pub on Delves Road in Hackenthorpe at around 9.40am on November 1.
It was then two men appeared walking a grey French Bulldog as well as another dog off its lead, described as a blue/silver Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Sam said: "When you've got little dogs and you see a big one off its lead you are more vigilant.
"David turned to walk away towards the karate studio but when he heard a noise he looked over his shoulder. The Staffy was running at him.
"He picked up the dogs but the Staffy jumped and knocked Lily straight out his arms.
"At this point David was punching and trying to get Lily out the Staffy's mouth. He literally put his hands in its mouth to get Lily free."
Sam says the owner 'sauntered' over to get the Staffy. When challenged and told to give his name, the owner reportedly said 'that's not happening' and left.
It was here David rang the police - but Sam says she and her husband are unhappy the harrowing incident was treated as a 'priority' call, not an 'emergency' one that would have had officers on the scene.
Sam said: "I understand they're busy and you could say the victim is just a dog, but the dog was out of control and now it's left the scene they have to find it another way. Where it happened is near a school. It could be a child getting mauled next."
The couple also say they received no updates on the case from South Yorkshire Police in the two weeks between the attack and November 15.
Meanwhile, David and Sam rushed Lily to a vet, where they had to face discussions of euthanizing her because of damage to her lung and back bones. Miraculously, she has so far pulled through.
Sam said: "We've had Lily 16 years. She's family to us.
"It was touch-and-go for a long time. We were having to monitor her around the clock - if we saw a sudden downturn, it would mean taking her to the vets where she would be put down.
"The dog is still loose in the meantime. We wish the police had taken it more seriously at the time."
A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: "We were called at 9.45am on November 1 to reports that a dog had been attacked by another dog on Delves Road in Sheffield. The dog received serious injuries during the incident.
"Since the incident, enquiries have taken place to seek to try and identify both the dog and its owner.
"The owner is described as mixed race and his dog is reported to be a blue/silver Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It is believed he was with another man, described as black with a grey French Bull dog.
"Anyone with information about the incident which could assist our officers, you can contact us via our new online live chat, our online portal or by calling 101. Please quote incident number 267 of November 1 when you get in touch. You can access our online portal here: www.southyorks.police.uk/contact-us/report-something."