City shop dog is saved from jaws of death

Mandy Holten with Dottie
Mandy Holten with Dottie
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A Lancaster woman and well-known city shop dog had an extremely lucky escape after being viciously mauled by a pit bull.

Mandy Holten says Dottie is lucky to be alive after she was repeatedly attacked in Quay Meadow, near Lancaster Castle, at one point nearly being dragged off into the bushes.

Luckily, four teenagers saw the attack and ran to their aid, followed by a man out walking his own dog, who managed to distract the savage animal so that Mandy and Dottie could escape.

Mandy, who also suffered deep bite wounds to her arm, was out walking Dottie for her friends Lynne and Andrew Long, who run the Slip Inn Emporium in Lancaster, on April 7 at around 5.45pm.

She said that while Dottie was looking for her ball in the grass, a “large and dangerous dog” suddenly appeared and rushed at the Jack Russell, who immediately submitted.

“It sank its teeth into her and shook her. The dog did not obey its owner and Dottie was getting seriously injured,” said Mandy.

“I tried to fight it off with my walking pole and ball thrower but these had no effect.

“I saw some teenagers on the other side of the field and screamed for help.

“It took four 17-year-old boys to get Dottie out of its jaws and they had to stand on its neck to achieve this.”

The dog then attacked again, pulling Dottie from Mandy’s arms, and a struggle ensued.

Mandy tried to hold Dottie above her head but the dog savaged her arm.

“Luckily a man with a dog appeared and began to shout,” said Mandy.

“This took the attention away from us and a 17-year-old girl helped us to escape.

“She carried Dottie and gave me encouragement.”

Both Mandy and Dottie, a nine-year-old rescue dog from Lancaster’s Animal Care, were bleeding heavily when they arrived at Lancaster Railway Station.

Police and an ambulance attended the scene, and Mandy was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, while Dottie received treatment at Lancaster Vetinary Centre in Bowerham.

Dottie’s owner Mr Long said: “James Glass at the vets stayed on after his surgery closed to look after Dottie.

“They’ve been absolutely brilliant.

“We’ve received a donation from the Save-A-Pet charity for vet’s bills as well.”

Police visited the home of the pit bull’s owner after the incident, and the dog is now believed to have been destroyed.

A spokesman said no charges have been brought.

Mandy said she learned later that the dog had also attacked and injured the dog of the man who came to her aid, who used a spare chain lead to get it back under control.

“Dottie would not have survived a fourth attack”, Mandy added. I’d just like to thank the teenagers and the man that helped out, they certainly saved Dottie’s life, and perhaps mine as well.”

Dottie is well known in Lancaster.

She was the “hostess” at St John’s Church in North Road, where Mandy was custodian, and can often be found relaxing at The Robert Gillow pub.

Were you one of the people that helped to save Dottie’s life? Contact Nick Lakin on 01524 385931 or email nick.lakin@jpress.co.uk.