Dog owner horrified as pet mauled

A DOG owner was left horrified after her Staffordshire bull terrier was viciously mauled by a collie during its daily walk in the latest in a spate of dog attacks in the area.

Karen Ofinski-Fogarty said it was the second time that her "soft" and "kind-natured" Staffie Lucy has been targeted in the Braid Hills.

And it follows a series of apparently unrelated dog attacks in the area in recent months.

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Mrs Ofinski-Fogarty, from Colinton, said that Lucy was first attacked last September when a mongrel tore her ear and caused a huge gash across her head. She required emergency surgery.

The three-and-a-half-year-old Staffie was attacked again on Monday night while she was playing in the park.

She said: "They were just running around together when suddenly the dog lunged for her eye.

"Lucy was screaming like I had never heard before, there was blood pouring from the wound. She nearly lost her eye."

Mrs Ofinski-Fogarty said the incident proved that bull terriers were not always the vicious animals they are portrayed to be. She said: "Staffies get a lot of bad press but mine is the most beautiful, sweetest dog you could ever meet."

The Evening News has already reported on the case of Diana Currie's dachshund Tasha, who nearly died after a mastiff-like dog savaged her at the Braid Hills.

The pet had to be rushed to hospital to undergo surgery while police mounted an investigation. It then emerged that other dog owners had reported a spate of similar attacks in the area.

SSPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said any dog, regardless of breed, could be aggressive through lack of training.

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"It is ultimately the responsibility of the owner to ensure that their pet is kept under control at all times."

He added that a Control of Dogs Bill is currently going through Parliament, which would place a duty on the owner of an out of control dog to keep that dog under control at all times.

Meadows/Morningside Councillor Mark McInnes said: "This is very concerning, it's a pretty basic pleasure of living in this area that you can take your dog walking in the Braid Hills.

"The onus is on owners if they know their dog isn't well behaved not to use popular dog walking areas."