Countryside horror as teenager and horse bitten in dog attack
Passerby captures image of animal’s owner who disappeared after incident
A vicious, unprovoked dog attack on two teenage girls and their horses left the pair injured and terrified.
Amelia Palmer, 16, and Katie Higgins, 15, had been riding their horses, Tinka and Sapphire, across the Wye Downs on Sunday morning when a Staffordshire bull terrier went for their animals.
Amelia, from Hawkinge, said: “The dog was literally hanging off Tinka’s nose. Katie jumped off and was beating it with her stick to get it to let go. It then went for Tinka’s belly and Katie grabbed it as it jumped up.”
Brave Katie, from Wye, eventually managed to pull the dog off, but it had already punctured Amelia’s leg and her Tinka’s nose.
Amelia added: “The owners didn’t do much to attempt to control the dog.
“They were just stood there shouting at it but it was completely out of control.”
The girls, who have both been riding for about 10 years, dismounted their horses and checked their wounds.
They confronted the owners – a man and a woman – who denied the dog had done anything wrong.
Luckily, a quick-thinking passerby caught the pair on camera in the aftermath of the attack and the man can be seen holding the dog by the harness.
Amelia had to go to hospital to have a tetanus jab and get the deep wound on her leg treated, while both horses needed to be treated by vets for their injuries.
Bindy Higgins, Katie’s mum, said: “It’s terrifying. But I’m very proud of the girls because they coped very well.
“I don’t know whether to be angry at Katie for dragging the dog off because of what it could have done or proud of her for handling it so bravely.”
Shockingly, when the girls turned away to get plasters for their wounds, the owners quickly disappeared.
Bindy added: “I have dogs and if that had been my dog, I would have stayed with the girls and made sure they were okay but the fact they were denying the dog had attacked them and then disappeared is awful.
“Luckily the kids were calm and handled the situation very well but I’m angry that they had no regard for the children and their horses.
“I would never want a dog to be destroyed for the wrong reasons but if people are going to have a one then they have to understand their dog’s temperaments.
“You have to take responsibility for your pet.
“We have a large vets bill to cover now so I’m hoping the police have taken this seriously and will do something to find the owners.”
‘The dog was literally hanging off Tinka’s nose. Katie jumped off and was beating it’
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These images show the puncture wound to Amelia’s knee and the damage caused to Tinka’s nose after the Staffordshire bull terrier’s frenzied attack on Sunday morning
Image of the dog owner who denied his pet had done anything wrong
Amelia Palmer and her horse Sapphire, left, and Katie Higgins with Tinka were riding on the Wye Downs