Cornwall

RSPCA accused over 'violent' rottweiler attack on collie

Ted the collie Image copyright Stephen Smith
Image caption The young collie, pictured before the attack, has been left "traumatised" and injured, his owners say

The RSPCA has been accused of "failing in its duty of care" after a re-homed rottweiler leapt over a garden hedge and violently attacked another dog.

Tracey Smith, 57, said she "feared for her life" as she fought off the larger dog which was savaging her collie, Ted.

After hitting the rottweiler numerous times with a lead they managed to escape behind a gate, she said.

The RSPCA said the rottweiler had "not shown violent signs before" and it had now decided to put him to sleep.

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Mrs Smith, who said Ted has needed several trips to the vets, added she was "disgusted" the attack had been able to happen, and believed the RSPCA had "failed in its duty of care" to other animals.

Image copyright Stephen Smith
Image caption Ted suffered puncture wounds to his side

A spokeswoman for the charity said: "We always carefully consider the dog's temperament, behaviour and background when re-homing to make sure the match is right for them and their new family and we take this responsibility seriously.

"We carry out a home check before the dog is adopted and we are also on-hand to offer advice and support after the pet has been re-homed if any issues arise."

Mrs Smith said she was "still in shock and struggling to sleep" after the attack, which happened during a regular walk in Crackington Haven on 10 October.

She said she still had a swollen leg where the rottweiler charged into her, and cuts and blisters on her hand.

Her husband Stephen Smith claimed they were told the dog had also attacked and hurt a cat earlier that day.

"The owners were all very upset by what happened - they agree it needs to be euthanised and said themselves it was a fatality waiting to happen," Mr Smith added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rottweilers are said to be a vey intelligent and strong breed

He said he was shocked to be told the charity were "reassessing the dog to re-home it" despite their pleas for it to be destroyed.

"The RSPCA have been absolutely horrendous. They have not had the courtesy to keep us informed or ask how Tracey or Ted are," he claimed.

However the charity spokeswoman said of the dog: "Independent veterinary advice was sought and recommended that he was put to sleep.

"The decision to put any animal to sleep is not made lightly and is always upsetting for those involved.

She added the charity was "saddened" to hear of the attack and wished Ted and his owner "a very speedy recovery".

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