A PETRIFIED mother has been left considering counselling for her nine-year-old daughter after their new puppy was snatched from her hands and killed by another dog in a country park.

Samantha Gaskell and her daughter, from Harwood, were walking their 13-week-old Lhasa Apso puppy, Ziggy, for only the sixth time on July 28 in Jumbles Country Park, Turton, when it was set upon by a much larger dog, sustaining injuries that led to it being put down.

Samantha said she had seen the large dog walking around the park with its owner who was struggling to keep it under control.

She said: “It didn’t even look like a dog, it seemed like a dinosaur. Its head was huge, it was a massive dog.

“The owner was having to try so hard to pull it away from Ziggy so it was a bit worrying being with the puppy and my young daughter.

“Later we came to some steps which he was coming down and the dog was pulling so hard it made the owner fall over, my daughter was holding our dog on the lead and I was checking if the owner was okay.

“Next thing I know the dog has come from quite far away and come back towards us and picked our dog up and pulled it out completely out of its harness.

“I ran down to try and free Ziggy but I thought I would lose my hands if I tried to go near its mouth.

“My daughter was panicking and another dog walker managed to get the dog from behind, it dropped Ziggy and I grabbed her immediately.”

Samantha didn’t see any blood on Ziggy but noticed she couldn’t use her back legs when she put her down to walk again.

Others in the park helped to comfort her daughter while the owner of the large dog apologised.

However, she says as soon as she asked for his details, so they could be passed to police, he became aggressive towards them.

The incident has been reported to the police and the dog warden, but Samantha is more concerned about the mental effects it has had on her daughter.

She said: “My kids just can’t get their head around the dog being gone. We’ve always been a dog family and would think we’d want to get another one but we’d be scared to walk it now.

“The incident is the last thing I think about before bed now, it was petrifying, I can’t believe how bad it must be for my daughter.

“I’ve kept in contact with some of the women who helped us out when they saw what happened and they told me I should consider counselling for her it was that bad.”

Shaun Hesmondhalgh, an expert witness specialising in dangerous dog legislation and dog training and behaviour modification expert, said: “These sorts of incidents emphasise the need for all dog owners to look at how important responsible dog ownership is, with people needing to take responsibility for their dog.

“Dogs are animals and horrible incidents can happen by their nature but people need to take responsibility for their dog and where they are.

“The police will be involved where they need to be with these incidents where a dog may be deemed too dangerous and courts will decide that on individual cases where action may be necessary.”