Havering man and pet mauled by raging off-the leash bull terrier

�A pet owner was injured in a terrifying struggle with a raging off-the-leash dog which turned on his animal in a Hornchurch park.

Now victim Keith Matthews has urged the authorities to follow its own recommendations and bring in tighter controls on dangerous animals in public.

The Royal Mail driver was left with deep bite marks to his hand after the Staffordshire bull terrier attacked his spaniel, named Blue, in Havering Country Park on April 9.

“I was rolling on the floor with this Staff for several minutes trying to prise its jaws open with no effect on the dog at all,” said Mr Matthews.

“Luckily, spaniels have large ears so the dog locked on to them instead of its throat.”

The dog was finally wrestled from Blue by Mr Matthews and the bull terrier’s owner.

Mr Matthews, of Burwood Gardens, Rainham, said: “I am a man of 12 stone and barely made an impact on this dog.

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“It was by pure luck that the Staff locked onto my dog’s ear and not his throat otherwise he would have died.

“Surely the time has come has come for it be an enforced law for dogs to be kept on a lead or muzzled if they are running free.

It cost Mr Matthews more than �200 in vet’s bills to pay for stitches to his dog’s ear.

He said: “There seems to be many irresponsible people owning dogs nowadays. It’s about time the police did something about this. It’s not an isolated incident.”

Police officers searched the park but could not trace the dog or its owner.

Prime minister David Cameron promised to tackle the issue of dangerous dogs in his party’s manifesto.

Families of victims also handed a letter into Downing Street last week urging the government to take action.

Legislation on banned dogs should have been finalised by Easter.

An environment department spokesman said that they were taking the issue of dangerous dogs extremely seriously and a policy announcement would be made soon.

Maulings are up 79 per cent in London in five years, latest figures show. This is in line with the rise in popularity of so-called “status dogs” – breeds prized for their aggression.