Dog kills family pet in a frenzied attack

From left, Missy the dog, Marie Burns, Mia Burns, Francesca Burns and Tom Davies holding a picture of Pepe who was killed in the attack. Picture: DAVE COX

From left, Missy the dog, Marie Burns, Mia Burns, Francesca Burns and Tom Davies holding a picture of Pepe who was killed in the attack. Picture: DAVE COX

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

A DOG barged into a Highworth home and savagely killed the family’s dog before owner Julie Davies’s eyes, 10 minutes before her granddaughter arrived.

Julie said a far more serious tragedy could have taken place if her nine-month-old granddaughter had turned up with her mum any earlier.

The vicious canine, thought to be a Rottweiler Bullmastiff cross, entered the first floor flat in Cherry Orchard via external stairs which led to a kitchen door, left open while Julie cooked dinner shortly after 8pm on Tuesday.

The door was flung open by the dog, which has now been destroyed by its owners, and left Julie rooted to the spot in fear.

“It was just fear,” the 55-year-old said.

“You knew straight away. I froze in fear because you could just see his whole behaviour and his head was going from side to side.

“My little dog ran from the living room just because he heard the door bang. He was under the kitchen table and this dog just lunged.

“He threw himself at my dog. I knew within seconds our dog was dead. It was absolutely horrendous.”

The victim, called Pepe – a Yorkshire Terrier Maltese cross – had been with the family for more than six years.

Missy, Julie’s other dog, had been kept back from the attack and shut away before she could be harmed.

And Julie said Missy has not been the same in the hours after the incident.

Moments after the attack, Julie’s partner, 40-year-old Swithin Cardoso, who is 6ft 5ins tall, grappled with the attacking dog.

During the struggle, the dog was forced out of the flat, but continued to circle in the car park below until a neighbour and Swithin had it tied up, waiting for police.

Marie Burns, 33, Julie’s daughter and mother to grandchild Mia, said: “The owner of the dog arrived 15 minutes later, before the police. He didn’t care or show any remorse. He just said it was his girlfriend’s dog and it had nothing to do with him.

“When we told him our dog had been killed, all he could say was ‘it’s only a dog’.

“He just kept saying it’s not his problem.”

Police were unable to take any action.

Julie said: “It infuriates me because if it had been 10 minutes later my granddaughter would have been here, crawling around.

“It doesn’t even bear thinking about.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed.

“The owners of the dog involved have taken the decision to put the animal down.

“The investigation is continuing to ascertain the circumstances around the incident and any witnesses should contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.”

Comments (28)

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7:41am Thu 31 Jul 14

House with no name says...

It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live".
It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live". House with no name
  • Score: 19

8:13am Thu 31 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

The owner of the dog should be banned from ever keeping another one as they clearly have understanding of the word responsibility and that sort of cross is more like an attack or fighting dog anyway. Really sorry for the family involved and could have been so much worse, but no one seems to care.
The owner of the dog should be banned from ever keeping another one as they clearly have understanding of the word responsibility and that sort of cross is more like an attack or fighting dog anyway. Really sorry for the family involved and could have been so much worse, but no one seems to care. house on the hill
  • Score: 47

8:30am Thu 31 Jul 14

Wildwestener says...

house on the hill wrote:
The owner of the dog should be banned from ever keeping another one as they clearly have understanding of the word responsibility and that sort of cross is more like an attack or fighting dog anyway. Really sorry for the family involved and could have been so much worse, but no one seems to care.
It does seem that people can pretty much get away with anything these days. Everyone seems to know their rights but no one ever seems to take any responsibility.
[quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: The owner of the dog should be banned from ever keeping another one as they clearly have understanding of the word responsibility and that sort of cross is more like an attack or fighting dog anyway. Really sorry for the family involved and could have been so much worse, but no one seems to care.[/p][/quote]It does seem that people can pretty much get away with anything these days. Everyone seems to know their rights but no one ever seems to take any responsibility. Wildwestener
  • Score: 35

8:35am Thu 31 Jul 14

The Witch says...

If the police say the law does not let them deal with this kind of incident unless they witness the attack themselves or the dog is a banned breed, the law needs changing and quick. They had the evidence of the poor little dog that was killed and obviously the owners had let the dog roam without any restraint, if a better law was in place the owners could have been prosecuted.
I'm so sorry for the family, this is an horrendous thing to happen especially as it took place in their own home.
If the police say the law does not let them deal with this kind of incident unless they witness the attack themselves or the dog is a banned breed, the law needs changing and quick. They had the evidence of the poor little dog that was killed and obviously the owners had let the dog roam without any restraint, if a better law was in place the owners could have been prosecuted. I'm so sorry for the family, this is an horrendous thing to happen especially as it took place in their own home. The Witch
  • Score: 34

8:57am Thu 31 Jul 14

A.Baron-Cohen says...

Hand gun would have come very helpful in this situation, they are so cheap these days.
Hand gun would have come very helpful in this situation, they are so cheap these days. A.Baron-Cohen
  • Score: -2

9:06am Thu 31 Jul 14

Stovepipe says...

To state the obvious, you live in Highworth, don't leave your door open, it's full of scum, know your surroundings, you do now. I lived in Highworth for 2 years, never again.
To state the obvious, you live in Highworth, don't leave your door open, it's full of scum, know your surroundings, you do now. I lived in Highworth for 2 years, never again. Stovepipe
  • Score: -14

10:14am Thu 31 Jul 14

BeardyBill says...

Rottweiler Bullmastiff cross? I bet it was a badger in disguise, but the Adver dare not print the truth......
Rottweiler Bullmastiff cross? I bet it was a badger in disguise, but the Adver dare not print the truth...... BeardyBill
  • Score: -18

10:22am Thu 31 Jul 14

motley crue says...

I feel really sorry for the people who's dog it was that was killed its about time the law was changed and the police are involved in incidents like this these people should be jailed and as for the boyfriend saying its only a dog what a piece of scum just shows the mentality of these people.
I feel really sorry for the people who's dog it was that was killed its about time the law was changed and the police are involved in incidents like this these people should be jailed and as for the boyfriend saying its only a dog what a piece of scum just shows the mentality of these people. motley crue
  • Score: 25

10:34am Thu 31 Jul 14

Robh says...

I have two occasions where the police must have witnessed something and they denied all knowledge of it.
I have two occasions where the police must have witnessed something and they denied all knowledge of it. Robh
  • Score: 5

10:35am Thu 31 Jul 14

fuzzey says...

I find it amazing the police are not able to take any action in this situation.must have been terrifying.unbelieva
ble.
I find it amazing the police are not able to take any action in this situation.must have been terrifying.unbelieva ble. fuzzey
  • Score: 26

11:22am Thu 31 Jul 14

catman says...

1. Overview
It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, eg:

in a public place
in a private place (eg a neighbour’s house or garden)
in the owner’s home
The law applies to all dogs.

Some types of dogs are banned.

Out of control
Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

injures someone
makes someone worried that it might injure them
A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if:

it injures someone’s animal
the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

I would be complaining
1. Overview It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, eg: in a public place in a private place (eg a neighbour’s house or garden) in the owner’s home The law applies to all dogs. Some types of dogs are banned. Out of control Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it: injures someone makes someone worried that it might injure them A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if: it injures someone’s animal the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal I would be complaining catman
  • Score: 24

11:26am Thu 31 Jul 14

martinswindon says...

Stovepipe wrote:
To state the obvious, you live in Highworth, don't leave your door open, it's full of scum, know your surroundings, you do now. I lived in Highworth for 2 years, never again.
What an absolute muppet you just made yourself look. You must live an incredibly sad life.
[quote][p][bold]Stovepipe[/bold] wrote: To state the obvious, you live in Highworth, don't leave your door open, it's full of scum, know your surroundings, you do now. I lived in Highworth for 2 years, never again.[/p][/quote]What an absolute muppet you just made yourself look. You must live an incredibly sad life. martinswindon
  • Score: 8

11:36am Thu 31 Jul 14

messyits says...

House with no name wrote:
It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live".
Obviously you do not read the papers much--a few murders-numerous drugs gangs and host of high profile cases--why not spend a few days at the courts and see how busy they are instead of unwarranted criticism.
[quote][p][bold]House with no name[/bold] wrote: It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live".[/p][/quote]Obviously you do not read the papers much--a few murders-numerous drugs gangs and host of high profile cases--why not spend a few days at the courts and see how busy they are instead of unwarranted criticism. messyits
  • Score: -5

11:40am Thu 31 Jul 14

messyits says...

fuzzey wrote:
I find it amazing the police are not able to take any action in this situation.must have been terrifying.unbelieva

ble.
Do read the story and the comments of the police--they need witnesses.
[quote][p][bold]fuzzey[/bold] wrote: I find it amazing the police are not able to take any action in this situation.must have been terrifying.unbelieva ble.[/p][/quote]Do read the story and the comments of the police--they need witnesses. messyits
  • Score: -16

11:49am Thu 31 Jul 14

eastie81 says...

messyits wrote:
House with no name wrote:
It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live".
Obviously you do not read the papers much--a few murders-numerous drugs gangs and host of high profile cases--why not spend a few days at the courts and see how busy they are instead of unwarranted criticism.
So if the police are busy they can pick and choose which law to uphold?
[quote][p][bold]messyits[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]House with no name[/bold] wrote: It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live".[/p][/quote]Obviously you do not read the papers much--a few murders-numerous drugs gangs and host of high profile cases--why not spend a few days at the courts and see how busy they are instead of unwarranted criticism.[/p][/quote]So if the police are busy they can pick and choose which law to uphold? eastie81
  • Score: 9

11:53am Thu 31 Jul 14

Oik1 says...

Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police,

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed.

They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident.
Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police, A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed. They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident. Oik1
  • Score: 16

12:33pm Thu 31 Jul 14

PJC says...

Oik1 wrote:
Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police,

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed.

They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident.
Well that's absurd. Do we all need a personal police officer in our homes 24/7 then?
[quote][p][bold]Oik1[/bold] wrote: Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police, A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed. They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident.[/p][/quote]Well that's absurd. Do we all need a personal police officer in our homes 24/7 then? PJC
  • Score: 17

12:39pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

Police do seem to be busy with revenue drivers rather than actual crime these days and when they do catch people its a ridiculously short term or nothing at all.
The problem here is once again the owner, from reading the article the owner clearly did not care and to say "its only a dog" demonstrates this.

Until people are held responsible for their actions and the actions of their animals (after all you trained your pet and have done all possible to control it as per law) terrible attacks like this will continue.
Dogs will do as they are trained to do or not as the case may be no amount of dog walking parks etc would of stopped this event.

My heart and thoughts to the family I am sure it was a terrifying experience.
Blame owners not dogs.
Police do seem to be busy with revenue drivers rather than actual crime these days and when they do catch people its a ridiculously short term or nothing at all. The problem here is once again the owner, from reading the article the owner clearly did not care and to say "its only a dog" demonstrates this. Until people are held responsible for their actions and the actions of their animals (after all you trained your pet and have done all possible to control it as per law) terrible attacks like this will continue. Dogs will do as they are trained to do or not as the case may be no amount of dog walking parks etc would of stopped this event. My heart and thoughts to the family I am sure it was a terrifying experience. Blame owners not dogs. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 7

12:44pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Davey Gravey says...

Dog ownership laws need a shake up. Licencing, insurance, microchipping and stricter breeding laws need to be introduced.
Dog ownership laws need a shake up. Licencing, insurance, microchipping and stricter breeding laws need to be introduced. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 20

1:00pm Thu 31 Jul 14

StillPav says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Dog ownership laws need a shake up. Licencing, insurance, microchipping and stricter breeding laws need to be introduced.
For dogs or humans?
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Dog ownership laws need a shake up. Licencing, insurance, microchipping and stricter breeding laws need to be introduced.[/p][/quote]For dogs or humans? StillPav
  • Score: 16

1:04pm Thu 31 Jul 14

back_to_reality says...

This story highlights how lazy, complacent and downright inept our sorry, overpaid and ineffectual 'police' force has become. People are being killed and injured by out of control dogs on a regular basis yet still the doltish coppers refuse to take the issue seriously. They take our money but fail to police. They are as bad as the scum they should be dealing with but choose not to.
This story highlights how lazy, complacent and downright inept our sorry, overpaid and ineffectual 'police' force has become. People are being killed and injured by out of control dogs on a regular basis yet still the doltish coppers refuse to take the issue seriously. They take our money but fail to police. They are as bad as the scum they should be dealing with but choose not to. back_to_reality
  • Score: 5

1:30pm Thu 31 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

StillPav wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Dog ownership laws need a shake up. Licencing, insurance, microchipping and stricter breeding laws need to be introduced.
For dogs or humans?
Both!!!
[quote][p][bold]StillPav[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Dog ownership laws need a shake up. Licencing, insurance, microchipping and stricter breeding laws need to be introduced.[/p][/quote]For dogs or humans?[/p][/quote]Both!!! house on the hill
  • Score: 16

1:31pm Thu 31 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

Wildwestener wrote:
house on the hill wrote:
The owner of the dog should be banned from ever keeping another one as they clearly have understanding of the word responsibility and that sort of cross is more like an attack or fighting dog anyway. Really sorry for the family involved and could have been so much worse, but no one seems to care.
It does seem that people can pretty much get away with anything these days. Everyone seems to know their rights but no one ever seems to take any responsibility.
One of my favourite quotes that one as it is proven time and again!
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]house on the hill[/bold] wrote: The owner of the dog should be banned from ever keeping another one as they clearly have understanding of the word responsibility and that sort of cross is more like an attack or fighting dog anyway. Really sorry for the family involved and could have been so much worse, but no one seems to care.[/p][/quote]It does seem that people can pretty much get away with anything these days. Everyone seems to know their rights but no one ever seems to take any responsibility.[/p][/quote]One of my favourite quotes that one as it is proven time and again! house on the hill
  • Score: 8

1:35pm Thu 31 Jul 14

fuzzey says...

PJC wrote:
Oik1 wrote:
Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police,

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed.

They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident.
Well that's absurd. Do we all need a personal police officer in our homes 24/7 then?
I agree this is absolutely absurd .surely the police would need witnesses as in any other attack or assault ? Not have to witness it themselves? what hope is there for any of us ?.
[quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oik1[/bold] wrote: Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police, A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed. They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident.[/p][/quote]Well that's absurd. Do we all need a personal police officer in our homes 24/7 then?[/p][/quote]I agree this is absolutely absurd .surely the police would need witnesses as in any other attack or assault ? Not have to witness it themselves? what hope is there for any of us ?. fuzzey
  • Score: 16

1:37pm Thu 31 Jul 14

house on the hill says...

eastie81 wrote:
messyits wrote:
House with no name wrote:
It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live".
Obviously you do not read the papers much--a few murders-numerous drugs gangs and host of high profile cases--why not spend a few days at the courts and see how busy they are instead of unwarranted criticism.
So if the police are busy they can pick and choose which law to uphold?
That is actually a very good point you have raised there. With limited resources there will be a time when they have to make a choice which is never going to please everyone. In this case with no witnesses they could be spending an awful lot of time for no result. Its a horrible thought but sadly a realistic one. And in this case it is the law that needs changing too so they can lock the scum bag owners up and throw away the key.
[quote][p][bold]eastie81[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]messyits[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]House with no name[/bold] wrote: It just seems to me that our Police don't actually deal with much today, I was quite expecting a quote like, "We have passed this matter on to our partners the RSPCA to investigate", or "We would like to reassure the public that this was an isolated incident and Highworth is the safest place in the whole world in which to live".[/p][/quote]Obviously you do not read the papers much--a few murders-numerous drugs gangs and host of high profile cases--why not spend a few days at the courts and see how busy they are instead of unwarranted criticism.[/p][/quote]So if the police are busy they can pick and choose which law to uphold?[/p][/quote]That is actually a very good point you have raised there. With limited resources there will be a time when they have to make a choice which is never going to please everyone. In this case with no witnesses they could be spending an awful lot of time for no result. Its a horrible thought but sadly a realistic one. And in this case it is the law that needs changing too so they can lock the scum bag owners up and throw away the key. house on the hill
  • Score: 9

1:58pm Thu 31 Jul 14

The Jockster says...

Stovepipe wrote:
To state the obvious, you live in Highworth, don't leave your door open, it's full of scum, know your surroundings, you do now. I lived in Highworth for 2 years, never again.
Great news for those of us who love living there and have done for years - one less **** to worry about!
[quote][p][bold]Stovepipe[/bold] wrote: To state the obvious, you live in Highworth, don't leave your door open, it's full of scum, know your surroundings, you do now. I lived in Highworth for 2 years, never again.[/p][/quote]Great news for those of us who love living there and have done for years - one less **** to worry about! The Jockster
  • Score: 14

2:03pm Thu 31 Jul 14

The Jockster says...

Adver mafia **** = Richard cranium ala short for Richard (d!ck) cranium(head)
Adver mafia **** = Richard cranium ala short for Richard (d!ck) cranium(head) The Jockster
  • Score: -4

7:45pm Thu 31 Jul 14

messyits says...

Oik1 wrote:
Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police,

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed.

They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident.
The investigation is continuing to ascertain the circumstances around the incident and any witnesses should contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 , where information can be left anonymously

I agree this to be a nasty incident--however the only witness was the dead dogs owner. The claimed attack dogs owner did not witness the attack but acted on hearing the claim--hearsay evidence would not stand up in court.

I also agree the law does not go far enough and needs upgrading.
[quote][p][bold]Oik1[/bold] wrote: Messyits, do read the story and the comments of the police, A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed. They do not need witnesses they need to witness the incident.[/p][/quote]The investigation is continuing to ascertain the circumstances around the incident and any witnesses should contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 , where information can be left anonymously I agree this to be a nasty incident--however the only witness was the dead dogs owner. The claimed attack dogs owner did not witness the attack but acted on hearing the claim--hearsay evidence would not stand up in court. I also agree the law does not go far enough and needs upgrading. messyits
  • Score: 0

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