Eastbourne woman’s call for a ‘puppy park’ after dog attack

Laura Woodward with her dog Billi (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Laura Woodward with her dog Billi (Photo by Jon Rigby)

An Eastbourne woman who says her puppy was attacked by two large dogs in a park is calling for designated spaces for smaller dogs to play.

Laura Woodward said her six-month-old toy schnoodle Billi was traumatised after the encounter in Macmillan Drive park.

Laura Woodward with her dog Billi (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Laura Woodward with her dog Billi (Photo by Jon Rigby)

She said, “My dog was traumatised but fortunately not injured, the vet said she was very lucky.”

Though Billi was too young to properly recall, Ms Woodward said she was persuaded by other dog owners to let the pup off the lead to have a play and socialise with their dogs.

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“Suddenly the atmosphere changed,” she said, “These two lurcher-type dogs, I saw them change. The next minute they were chasing her like she was a rabbit around in circles.

“She started running down the hill towards the road and they chased her down. They cornered her at a tree and I could just hear her screaming, they were hitting her with their heads and trampling her.”

Billi escaped but ran through fencing, across a road, and into someone else’s garden, Ms Woodward said.

“When I scooped her up she’d peed herself, she was trembling. I’m really angry with the owners of the dogs that really did hunt her down. They weren’t doing any intervention, they just said something like ‘stop it’.”

Now she is calling for safe walking spaces for dogs like Billi and says we should follow the lead of the enclosed puppy park in Withdean, Brighton.

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She said, “I have been at the vets when people have brought in small dogs attacked by larger ones and know of one death where someone’s huge dog killed a small dog in a park.

“There’s nowhere to go and walk small dogs where you can feel safe. A lot of it’s also about owners.

“We have got lots of parks so surely they could dedicate areas?”

A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said it had no plans in the pipeline for a puppy park.

Do you think it would be a good idea? Email eastbourne.herald@jpress.co.uk