Blind family dog dies after being mauled by ‘illegal pack of Pit Bulls’ in park

The dogs allegedly also left a dad injured and a mum and child, 4, ‘traumatised’ (Picture Sonia Faleiro)

A blind family dog has died after it was ‘mauled by illegal Pit Bull Terriers’ in a park attack that left a dad injured and a mum and child traumatised.

Sonia Faleiro was allegedly told ‘get over it mate’ after her beloved Jack Russell Terrier Zoey was left covered in blood with her ear hanging off in the attack in Norwood Park, south London.

Her husband Ulrik was also bit by one of the three unmuzzled dogs when he tried to help Zoey and their four-year-old daughter was chased.

A hunt has now been launched to find the owners as ‘several’ people in the community claim it’s not the first time the pack has struck.

Sonia, 43, held back tears as she told ‘It was like the whole world had come to an end. We have a small family, but it’s happy family. They took it away from us.

‘We really do believe Zoey is one of several victims and the next victim could be a child.’

The author says she was settling in for a picnic with her husband, 46, their daughter and 15-year-old Zoey when they saw a man, woman and children walk in with the three large dogs.

One of the animals is suspected to be a Pit Bull Terrier which are illegal in the UK, while the other two are thought to be Pit Bull Terrier crosses.

Just before 5.30pm on Monday, the dogs were let off their leads and came ‘racing towards the family as a pack looking like they were about to attack’.

Sonia said: ‘My husband picked up Zoey. He’s 6’4″ but these immensely strong dogs were able to wrench her out of his grasp and lock their jaws on her. 

‘While this is happening, the owners simply stood and watched. We noticed they were wearing dog handling gloves so it seems they were aware that they have biting dogs.

The alleged owners were pictured as they left the park (Picture: Sonia Faleiro)
Blood gushed from Zoey’s head and her ear ‘hung by a thread’ as she was attacked (Picture: Sonia Faleiro)
Mum Sonia claims the owners just watched as the violent incident unfolded (Picture: Sonia Faleiro)

‘Ulrik tried to get Zoey from the mouth of one of the dogs but the others attacked him.

‘He was able to free Zoey, who was bleeding profusely from the head, but they injured him on the arm. He was left with lacerations and had to call a doctor.

‘As Ulrik freed Zoey, one of the dogs fled and ran towards my four-year-old who had to run away from it.

‘She’s severely traumatised. She feels it could just as well have been her. The whole thing was an absolute nightmare.’

Sonia asked the owners to wait as she called 999 – but was told to ‘get over it mate’ by one, while another told the family ‘it was their fault for being in the park’.

The owners allegedly fled the scene, despite Sonia’s efforts to make them stay.

Zoey was rushed to the vet who stitched up her ear and said they would keep her overnight for observation.

The ‘happy and playful dog’ died hours later, with the vet saying she had collapsed with seizures as ‘the shock had been too great for her’.

Sonia said: ’My four-year-old daughter has known Zoey all her life, she calls Zoey her baby.

‘She had to watch while these dogs attacked her, while her dad fought them off. 

‘She saw the blood and the attack and me begging the owners to please call their dogs off. They didn’t.’

Sonia’s daughter, 4, pictured shortly before the attack, has been left ‘traumatised’ (Picture: Sonia Faleiro)
The family fears their beloved Jack Russell Terrier is ‘one of several victims’ (Picture: Sonia Faleiro)

After posting about her horrifying experience online, Sonia claims to have been contacted by locals who say they and their dogs have suffered non-serious injuries after being attacked by the same animals in the past.

Urging more witnesses to come forward, Sonia said: ‘These people have made us and members of our community afraid to go into our park. 

‘We have to stop this fear, we can’t let them do that. I’m severely traumatised, but I am absolutely determined to bring these people to book. Absolutely determined.’

A statement from the Met Police said: ‘Police were called at 5.30pm on Monday, 7 June to Norwood Park SE27 after a woman reported that her dog had been attacked by two other dogs.

‘The dogs were then allegedly placed on leads by a man who left the scene with a woman and two children.

‘The woman’s dog later died. There have been no arrests at this time. Enquiries continue.’

Anyone with information can contact police using crime report number 1214713/21.

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