Dog owner watches as pet ‘ripped apart’

Belmont pensioner Eddie Harkin pictured with a photo of his 7 years-old pet Snoodle 'Odie', who was mauled to death by another dog in Collon Lane on Tuesday night. 2004JM06

Belmont pensioner Eddie Harkin pictured with a photo of his 7 years-old pet Snoodle 'Odie', who was mauled to death by another dog in Collon Lane on Tuesday night. 2004JM06

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A Derry man whose much loved pet was ‘ripped apart’ in a vicious attack by another dog has warned that a child could be next.

Eddie Harkin from Ballyarnett Road says he has been left feeling “sick and angry” after fighting in vain to save six year-old poodle/schnauzer cross Odie from the jaws of a lurcher type dog.

Mr Harkin had been out walking with Odie - his constant companion over the last six years - along Collon Lane at around 6:15pm on Wednesday evening when his pet dog was savagely set upon.

“I saw a young boy, maybe aged no more than ten, outside a house playing with two lurchers. The two dogs came running towards us but one turned back. The other just launched into an attack,” Mr Harkin told the ‘Journal’.

Odie was brutally mauled by the dog in front of his helpless owner.

Mr Harkin says his pet was dead within minutes despite his best efforts to fight off the attacking dog.

“It was that quick, it just ripped him apart. There was nothing I could do, even if I’d had a stick to hit it with I would not have been able to make it stop.”

He says Odie’s savage death was “terribly hard to watch.”

“It was like someone took a knife and ripped him apart. It was vicious,” he says.

Mr Harkin says he wanted to speak out so the Derry public were aware of the potential dangers associated with some dogs.

“People should not be keeping dogs like this as pets.

“This needs to be highlighted, it could easily be a child next,” he says.

Derry City Council have confirmed an investigation into the attack is underway - and that the dog who attacked Mr Harkin’s pet has been handed over to authorities.

“A dog warden is presently investigating the case and the dog allegedly involved in the attack was voluntarily surrendered to the dog warden,” a spokeswoman for the council says.

In 2011 new legislation was introduced to tackle dog attacks.

The law included compulsory micro chipping for all dogs and also made it an offence to allow a dog to attack and injure another person’s dog.