CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Canine attack victim left afraid to walk her own dog

Woman needed three operations after suffering injuries in Cantelowes Park

23 March, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Mary Malloy is now out of hospital and back with Georgie

THE victim of a vicious dog attack that left her needing three operations has told how the incident has left her fearful of returning to the park where it happened.

Mary Malloy, 63, a retired catering worker, was set upon by three dogs in Cantelowes Park, Camden Town, last Monday at around 1.30pm – and needed surgery. Released form hospital this week, Ms Malloy told the New Journal she was taking her own dog Georgie, a nine-year-old Bichon, for his daily walk when she was attacked.

She said: “It is best for everyone’s safety that the animal responsible is found. I am extremely scared that it could do this again. It could have been a child.”

Ms Malloy said the dog, described as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was one of three that attacked her and Georgie. “There were three dogs there I had not seen before,” she said. “They were off their leads and there was a group of schoolchildren from Camden School for Girls, so it was unusually busy. My Georgie was being petted by them when this dog attacked him – it was completely unprovoked. I went to help him because I could hear him squealing.”

The Staffordshire Terrier grabbed Georgie by the neck and Ms Malloy believes he was saved by the collar he was wearing. But as she managed to free her pet, she became the target. She added: “It was such a shock – I think some one may have kicked it to get it off me. I was screaming and screaming for help. There were so many people about, I hope someone who witnessed it will come forward and speak to the police.”

An ambulance took her to the Royal Free Hospital where she was treated for severe bites on her hands, leg and ribs. She needed three operations under general anaesthetic and she is still suffering from shock.

She said: “This could have so easily been one of the children there. Georgie was lucky he wasn’t killed. The fact is dogs should be kept on leads, especially breeds that can be dangerous. The owner just disappeared.”

Ms Malloy, who has lived in Kentish Town for nearly 30 years, said she was now too worried to take her pet for his daily walk and was having to rely on neighbours to exercise him while she recovers. “I have not been able to go out since. I am still too shaken by it, and my hand is injured so I can’t hold a lead,” she said.

The Town Hall introduced new public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) last month that allows them to issue fines to dog owners who do not keep their pets on a lead in public spaces. The council is also banning dogs from some council-managed land including games and picnic areas – with powers to issue parking-style fines if dog owners break the rules.

The new policies came after a three-year study of how to improve canine control in parks and streets, following a series of incidents involving dogs off leads. Ms Malloy added: “I want to thank the Royal Free staff – they were so good to me. I just hope someone comes forward with information so it never happens to anyone else.”

 

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