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Four-dog attack on woman near Burnley General Hospital
A WOMAN was attacked by a pack of 'out of control' dogs as she walked her pet near Burnley General Hospital.
Joy Hird, 59, was left traumatised and feared she may have been killed.
One of the dogs, a large pitbull-type dog, lunged towards her Bichon Frisé dog Marley and grabbed his hind legs and sharted shaking him violently.
As Mrs Hird tried to free him, she said the dogs turned on her.
She said: “I was absolutely hysterical, I managed to get Marley away from the dog, but I lost my grip on his lead.
“Marley ran away and the dogs turned on me. I couldn’t even see how many there were of them or what they were doing.
“They had me on the floor. I was screaming. I was absolutely terrified.”
Security guards Graham Cook and Liam McHale, who were on patrol in the hospital grounds, heard her screaming and rushed to help her.
Mr Cook said: “Liam and I were carrying out a standard patrol at the hospital when we heard screams coming from a nearby street.
“We saw a lady on the floor being attacked by a large white bullmastiff and a pit-bull puppy.
“We physically lifted and dragged the dogs away from Mrs Hird, who appeared to be injured, so that she could escape to safety. We are just relieved that Mrs Hird is okay."
Mrs Hird, whose husband Geoffrey, 59, was attending an appointment at the hospital at the time, praised the guards for saving her.
She said: “My dog was bleeding, I was full of blood, I was very, very lucky.
“If the security guards hadn’t been there I would have had no chance. The security man definitely saved my life.
“It was a dangerous dog, it was out of control, imagine if it had been a child walking a dog.
“I was very shaken, I didn’t get out of bed for days after the attack.”
Olwyn Cross, 58, who lives on Ebor Street where the incident happened, came to Mrs Hird's aid after the attack.
She said: “I just heard a lot of noise and commotion. I thought it was my daughter-in-law’s dog at first so I went outside.
“Joy was sat there with the little dog, she was in shock, the dog was in shock. She had blood on her face, blood everywhere.
“She was shaking, she was crying, she was upset, the dog was upset.
“I took them to my flat and made her a cup of tea and cleaned her up.”
Mrs Hird went to the urgent care centre at Burnley General, where she was treated for injuries to her hands and arms, and Marley’s injured legs were treated by vets at the Stanley House practice on Colne Road.
After the attack a dog warden was called to take the dogs away, and they have now been reuinited with their owner.
Police are currently investigating the incident, but no action has been taken against the owner.
A Burnley Council spokesman said: “We believe the dog warden has acted correctly throughout this incident.
“A serious dog on person attack that results in hospitalisation is a police matter. However the council dog warden did attend the scene and took two dogs away to the kennels where they were seized under the police’s authority.
“The police subsequently allowed the dogs to return home. The council doesn’t have powers to keep dogs at the kennel if the owner comes to collect them.”
A spokesperson for Lancashire Constabulary said: “An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident is ongoing. We have previously spoken with all parties involved and will be speaking with the owner of the dog in question again in due course.”
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