A PONY was left with gaping wounds on its head after being savaged by a dog in Weymouth.

Diesel the pony was attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier cross in Church Road, Preston, as he returned from giving children rides at a holiday camp.

His owner Angela Panjalizadeh, who runs a horse riding business in Preston, said he was being walked to Hillside Stables by one of her members of staff when the attack happened.

She said: “Diesel was being brought back from doing pony rides for children at Weymouth Bay Caravan Park.

“I’ve got seven horses and we provide children’s rides for holidaymakers.”

Mrs Panjalizadeh said Diesel was left with horrific wounds on his face.

She said: “There were several men walking down the road with dogs.

“One was on the lead but the other was running around out of control and it attacked him.

“He was bitten on his face, really close to his eye, and on his stomach.

“Luckily there was nobody riding him at the time because that would have been really dangerous.”

She added: “It’s absolutely dreadful and we’re all very upset and worried about how he will be.

“He’s in a lot of pain and his face is really swollen.

“He went to the vet and they stitched him up.

“Hopefully he will be OK and make a full recovery physically but he could be traumatised now.

“Horses are really clever animals.

“They don’t forget these kinds of things and if he is scared of dogs now he might not be able to be ridden.”

The attack happened on Thursday afternoon as one of her assistants walked Diesel home.

Mrs Panjalizadeh said: “It’s horrible and it’s going to cost a lot of money in vet bills and loss to my business because he definitely can’t be ridden now. He’s on antibiotics and it will take a while to heal. It’s so frustrating and really, really sad and traumatic.

“It’s upsetting for everyone, especially the children, and it’s just something that shouldn’t happen. I’ve got dogs of my own but I would never have them running loose and out of control.”

Civil Action Being Taken Against Owners

IAN Lewis, who is the dog warden for Weymouth, said: “The police have found the culprits in this incident and we are dealing with them under civil law.

“The owner will be issued with a control order for this area and Basingstoke where they are from.

“Hopefully we can get them to pay the vet bills as well because the horse is quite badly hurt and it will probably run to hundreds of pounds at least.

“It wasn’t the dog’s fault it was the owner’s, people need to keep their dogs on the lead and under control, especially around other animals and people.”