A beloved family dog had to have its leg amputated after it was viciously attacked by another dog on Weymouth seafront. 

Julie and Warren Atherton had been walking their nine-year-old cocker spaniel Zack near Brunswick Terrace when an unaccompanied bull mastiff closed in on their dog.

The couple were visiting the town from their home in Milton Keynes at the time and were walking to their car after a day at the beach when the bull mastiff approached.

“Before anyone knew what was happening it had its jaws clamped around Zack’s leg,” said their daughter Rebecca Atherton.

Horrified, the pair tried to pull the dog off Zack but when the bull mastiff growled they had to pull back for fear of their own safety. 

Miss Atherton said: “Eventually the owner of the dog came over and pulled his dog off Zack, but then proceeded to put his hood up and walk away after the attack, not taking any responsibly at all for what happened. My parents were horrified – they are very shaken up at the moment.” 

The attack is being investigated by the dog warden.

Miss Atherton said: “Zack is such a happy dog and really didn’t deserve this at all. 

“He loved to run and play ball, he had so much energy. He is making progress, but obviously it is hard to see him like this. We are all very upset at what has happened and trying to support him as best we can.”

Miss Atherton added: “We are very worried about how vicious the dog is. 
“It was roaming off the lead on the promenade and we can’t help but think what if he continues to attack other dogs, or even worse, a small child.

“We want to do all we can to make sure it is not a risk to others. We are hoping someone can step forward so the dog can be tracked down an dealt with, because it is definitely a risk to other dogs, and most importantly people.”

The couple informed Dorset Police and officers referred the incident the borough council’s dog warden. 

Cllr Francis Drake, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council’s spokesman for community safety, said: “I am sorry to hear about this distressing incident. Our dog wardens are aware and have been investigating. I would like to remind owners that it is a legal requirement that your dog should be under control at all times in public place.”

Anyone with any information about this incident should contact the dog warden on 01305 838000.