A PET dog suffered horrific injuries after it was set upon by a pack of trained hunting hounds at a Wigan beauty spot.
The owner of 16-year-old Lhasa Apso Wallis says it was touch and go whether the pet would survive the savage onslaught. Phil Dermott was walking Wallis through Haigh plantations close to the canal when they met a man surrounded by five dogs, including lurchers and greyhounds.
The dogs, which Phil suspects are bred for hunting, began to work together as a group to hunt Wallis, leaving him fighting for his life with severe gashes to his throat, chest and neck which required more than 40 stitches.
Phil, from Kitt Green, tried to fight the pack of dogs away from Wallis with a stick and was aided by a woman who came across the spot while walking with her children, before rushing him to a vet’s surgery.
Although Phil is ordinarily the one saving members of the public in his job as a fireman, he says he is extremely grateful to his helper who managed to prise Wallis free of his attackers.
Phil, 38, said: “The owner was about six feet tall and of normal build with black stubble, and he was acting quite spaced out. Unfortunately I injured one of his dogs with the stick and he was just looking at it, he didn’t seem to know what was happening.
“He was dressed as though he had been hunting, with boots, an Army-style top and jeans on.
“The woman who came along was just walking with two kids and agreed to help. She put herself in danger and might well have saved Wallis’ life by getting him free.
“He was in a terrible way afterwards, and I am extremely grateful to the staff at Vetcare in Leigh. Hopefully he will get through the week, but the vet said it was touch and go.”
Phil is now warning other dog owners to be vigilant when out with their pets at Haigh Hall after the incident, which took place on Sunday morning.
He said: “It’s a very popular spot, I’ve walked that route a million times myself. None of the dogs were on leads or muzzled, and the owner couldn’t control them at all.
“If people see him or the group of dogs they should pick their animals up and move on from the area quickly.”
Phil also said he would be reporting the incident to Greater Manchester Police.