A DOG owner is warning other animal lovers to be vigilant after his pet was savaged by a group of hounds at a popular Wigan beauty spot.
John Oakes, from Aspull, says his German shepherd Max suffered terrible injuries after being set on by a pack of cross-breed dogs who may have been bred for fighting in the grounds of Haigh Hall.
John was left with a vet’s bill of £1,600 to heal his beloved pet, who sustained deep gouges to his body in the incident, which happened while he was being walked by his neighbours in the fields near the Hall Lane entrance to the popular country park.
The warning comes just days after another dog was left fighting for life after being attacked in similar circumstances, and John fears the incidents are related.
He said: “My dog’s a German shepherd so he’s a big strong animal, but they ripped lumps out of him.
“I’ve been told they are lurchers and people fighting them cross-breed them with American pitbulls to make them more aggressive. There were four of them and they surrounded him, he had to jump into a pond to fend them off.
“The vet had to shave all his back to get at the wounds. He had four major bites and 11 other bites, and every one of them was infected.
“These dogs are dangerous, and it’s frightening when you think I regularly take my two grandchildren down that path with the dog.”
John says he strongly suspects the pack of dogs are being trained for dog fighting by their owners.
He said: “There were two young lads with them and they seemed to be goading the dogs into scrapping with each other. The animals were also covered in scars and what looked like wounds which had been healed with superglue.
“That route from the lodge towards the canal is very popular with dog walkers, and my concern is that someone is going to get seriously hurt.”