A HEARTBROKEN pet owner has told of her horror after seeing her beloved cat mauled to death by a dog – in her own back garden.
Elisabeth Skelton says she was powerless to stop her three-year-old cat Socks from being fatally mauled by a Staffordshire bull terrier in the middle of the night.
The 39-year-old mother-of-two tried in vain to get the dog to release its grip on Socks after hearing an almighty commotion, and was left needing a tetanus jab and a course of antibiotics after the dog bit her finger.
Elisabeth said: “I heard some barking at about 12.15am last Monday, (April 18), because I had stayed up as my one-year-old, Charley, is teething. I didn’t think anything of it at first because my neighbours both have dogs, but then I heard shouting at the back of the house and the barking got more and more vicious.
“I ran into the kitchen to look outside and, even though it was pitch black, I could make out two men standing in my garden. They had a white Staffordshire bull terrier which had a black and white cat in its mouth and was shaking it violently. Only when I went outside did I realise it was Socks.
“The men were just stood there shouting ‘drop her’, so I raced outside in my dressing gown to try to pull Socks out. I wrestled with the dog for about a minute and, when I finally got it to release its grip, the men just ran off into the night.
“I cradled Socks in my arms and shouted to my boyfriend, Tim, that we needed to take her to the vet. But, sadly, it was too late.”
Elisabeth, who bought Socks as an eight-week-old kitten, says her children Callum, two, and one-year-old Charley have been left “devastated and traumatised” by the incident.
She also owns two other cats – Socks’ daughter Poppy and Poppy’s son Ozzy.
Elisabeth, of Devonshire Road in Atherton, added: “We think that the dog must have seen our cats sitting on the fence and used the car as a springboard to leap into our back garden because there are scratches all over the bonnet.
“I’m terrified to let the other cats out now in case this happens again. Socks was like part of the family – we called her the queen of the house.
“But imagine if this had happened at a time when the children were in the back garden. It could have been a hell of a lot worse. We’re all in shock. Our lives will never be the same again.”