Worksop ex-mayor says 'I'm absolutely devastated' after her dog's horrific attack

A Nottinghamshire councillor has apologised after one of her dogs mauled another pet in a park. Worksop Labour councillor and ex-mayor Maria Charlesworth says she is "absolutely devastated" following the incident, which led to 14-year-old cocker spaniel Abbey being put down.

Annette Edson, 57 and from Worksop, was walking her pet at the Valley Road Play Area on Monday, May 6, when two dogs, believed to be Shar Peis, attacked Abbey. The elderly dog was mauled under her belly, only a few feet away from the family's home.

Due to the severity of her injuries, she had to be put to sleep following the incident, leaving her owners heartbroken. Following reports of the attack, the Bassetlaw Conservatives have asked for Cllr Charlesworth to resign and called for the suspension of the whip while investigations take place.

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Speaking about the incident, Conservative Cllr Fraser McFarland said: "After viewing the footage, I am horrified at this unprovoked attack. My thoughts are with Colin and Annette at this time.

"The public are rightly outraged and I call on Maria to do the right thing and resign.” Cllr McFarland also wrote a letter addressed to Bassetlaw Labour leader Cllr James Naish, and his deputy, Cllr Jo White, requesting the suspension of the Labour whip.

The letter, seen by Nottinghamshire Live, states: "The safety and well-being of our community are of paramount importance, and it is crucial that elected representatives maintain the highest standards of conduct, both in their personal and professional lives. The nature of the allegations against Cllr Charlesworth, involving dangerous dogs, poses serious questions about public safety and the suitability of her continuing in a representative role while under investigation.

"Suspending the whip during the investigation would demonstrate Labour's commitment to upholding the integrity and safety of our community, ensuring that public confidence in our local government remains strong." A Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson said they were called to reports of a dog attack on Monday, May 6, and that investigations into the incident continue.

Cllr Maria Charlesworth said: "As an animal lover and a dog owner I am absolutely devastated by what has happened. I can only imagine the pain that the owners are going through and I am so sorry they have had to say such a painful goodbye to their beloved pet.

"Dogs become part of our families and anyone who owns a pet lives in fear that one day they will have to say goodbye. It is so cruel that this family have lost their dog too soon.

"I have paid vet bills for the owners, and have also written an apology letter to set out just how sorry I am this has happened." The dog who carried out the attack will now be destroyed, while the other one will be muzzled.

A spokesman for Bassetlaw District Council said: "The Council’s Monitoring Officer, is responsible for the conduct of elected members. In this instance, Cllr Maria Charlesworth was walking her dogs in public, which is a personal activity and does not involve her responsibilities as a Councillor.

"As such, this is a matter that the Council is unable to become involved in or comment upon. The powers of the Monitoring Officer are only applicable by law when an elected member is acting in an official capacity as a Councillor or representative of the Authority.

"Nottinghamshire Police are the relevant lead authority who have powers to act should they establish anything unlawful has taken place. The Council work closely with the police who lead on matters where they have powers and once they conclude their investigation there may be scope for the Council to look at matters that fall within their control, dependant on the outcome of any investigation."