A Limavady man who rushed to the aid of a pensioner during a “horrific” dog attack has spoken of the “terrifying” ordeal, in which he was also injured.
Noel Devlin was enjoying a relaxing Sunday morning when he was alerted to a pensioner fighting off two dogs in the green area outside his Glenbank Walk home. The pensioner was clutching his own dog in his arms and shouting for help while trying to break free from the animals.
“One of the dogs was attacking his ankle and the other was at the back of his knee,” said Mr. Devlin.
“He was shouting and was really struggling to free himself.”
Grabbing his partner’s camogie stick, Mr. Devlin ran outside barefoot to help the man, waving the stick to try and startle the animals.
“As I got closer one of the dogs lunged at me, but I swung the stick and it bit on that,” he said, showing the marks on the stick where the dog had bitten.
Meanwhile, the pensioner was on the ground and continued to be attacked by the other dog. He managed to get up, which resulted in the other dog lunging at Mr. Devlin and biting him on his leg.
After a frenzied few minutes, Mr. Devlin managed to get himself and the pensioner back to the safety of his home where he called police.
Both Mr. Devlin and the pensioner were subsequently treated in hospital for their wounds.
Police and Council’s Enforcement Officer attended the incident.
“The keeper of the dogs signed them over to Council and the dogs were humanely destroyed,” said a Council spokesperson. “The dogs were not banned breeds. The investigation is ongoing.”
Mr. Devlin said the attack seemed to happen in a matter of minutes.
“It all happened so quickly. The man was in shock. It was horrific,” said Mr. Devlin. “I’m surprised the dogs didn’t take the toes off the man, because part of his shoe was ripped off and the part of his trousers were ruined where the dogs were biting his ankle. He’s recovering but, and he can’t thank me enough, but it must have been very frightening for him.”
Mr. Devlin, who stands at almost six feet tall, says while it was an intimidating situation, he couldn’t stand by and do nothing.
“It was terrifying but I wasn’t going to let someone be fatally injured. I did it without thinking.”
Mr. Devlin said the area in the Glens is home to many young families.
“What if that had of been my daughter, or someone else’s child who couldn’t fight back? It could have been a lot worse.”
He added: “I don’t see what I did as heroics. I would hope that if the same happened to me someone would help.”
Sinn Fein councillor Brenda Chivers praised Mr. Devlin’s bravery.
“Fair play for him to go out and tackle two dogs like that. He was very brave,” she said.
“Thankfully there were no serious injuries to either gentlemen, although I’m sure it has left both men shaken. Some people never get over a dog attack. It’s bad enough to think of being attacked by one dog, but by two isn’t worth thinking about.”
Colr. Chivers urged pet owners to be responsible for their dogs.
“I would appeal to dog owners to make sure their dogs aren’t out running free. If that had of been a child there could have been serious injuries or, worse, a death.”
Police say officers in Limavady responded to a report of a dog attack involving two dogs in the Glenbank Walk area shortly after 10.50am on Sunday, 12 August.
“Two males sustained injuries to their lower legs. One of the males required hospital treatment. Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening,” said a spokesperson. “Two dogs were seized by the dog warden. This is now a matter for Limavady Council dog warden