Fears after killer ‘pitbull-type’ returned to Hornchurch home despite being seized by police

Alfie the terrier

Alfie the terrier - Credit: Archant

A heartbroken dog owner whose Yorkshire terrier was mauled to death by a pitbull-type dog has spoken of his horror after the deadly animal was seen near his home.

Steven Thorne, of Cecil Avenue, Hornchurch, was taking his 13-year-old Yorkshire terrier Alfie, out for an evening walk on May 16, when the animal attacked his pet just 25 yards from his front door.

The 65-year-old took his dog to a nearby veterinary surgery as soon as he could but says the terrier “never stood a prayer” of survival.

Mr Thorne was told by a vet Alfie’s neck had been broken in two places and his only comfort was that the dog died almost instantly.

“I am really concerned that next time it could be a young child that is attacked,” Mr Thorne said.

“The homeowner lives 100 yards away from a children’s playgroup and the dog has proved it has a streak in it which is extremely dangerous.”

After the attack, police seized the animal and tests were carried out to see if the dog was a banned dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, but it has since been returned to its owner.

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Steven’s neighbours are now taking drastic measures to protect themselves and their pets as they fear the dog could get out on the loose again.

Richard Rush said: “We now have to take steps to protect ourselves and our dog when we go out on walks.

“I for one will be arming myself to protect my family and our dog against any future attack.”

The Hornchurch resident now wants to see tighter laws so dogs which attack and badly injure other pets would be immediately destroyed.

“It seems to me the Dangerous Dogs Act is not doing the job it’s meant to be doing in protecting animals and people,” he said.

“The law appears to be focusing too much on the owner, rather than the behaviour of the animal itself.”

Mr Thorne’s comments come in the same week a man in Huddersfield was killed after trying to protect his Yorkshire terrier from a pitbull.

Read more in today’s Romford Recorder.