A COUPLE have been left devastated after seeing their cat savagely mauled by a dog as they looked on helplessly.

Ian and Gemma Cronshaw, of Rock Lane, Padiham watched horrified as the crossbreed dog viciously bit and shook their six-year-old ginger tom Isaac in their back garden, leaving him so badly injured the vet had to put him to sleep.

Mr Cronshaw, a teacher at Heasandford Primary School in Burnley, told of his anger at how the dog owner, who was riding a bike, entered his back garden and allowed the 3am attack to happen.

The 55-year-old said: “We were woken up by an ungodly scream and thought it must be cats fighting.

“We went to the window and saw the owner stood in our garden and the dog ragging our cat around.

“The owner was just stood there watching. I don’t understand how somebody can just watch as their dog mauls another animal to death.

“It was horrific. I put my dressing gown on and ran outside and screamed at him to get it off my cat.

“My wife was screaming. He called the dog off and I scooped Isaac up and told my wife to take it inside. He had suffered a broken back and was so distressed. The dog was snarling and I thought it was going to attack me and I said to him ‘you’re not going anywhere, my neighbour’s rang the police’.

“But he just cycled off and his dog followed him. I went out in my car to find him but he was gone.

“We’ve seen people who go out lamping, poaching in the fields in the area, and sometimes they will set their dogs on anything that moves.

“It’s barbaric. Isaac was such a loving and trusting cat, which is probably why the dog got to him.”

The man had short, crew cut blond hair spiked up at the front, and was aged between 25 and 30. He was between 5ft 10ins and 6ft, wearing a camouflage jacket, and riding a black mountain bike.

The RSPCA urged anyone with information about last Tuesday’s incident to contact them and said it would prosecute the owner responsible.

A spokesman said: “This is a sickening way for anyone to behave, and there is no excuse for deliberately setting a dog on another animal in this manner. If anyone has any information they can contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”

Burnley Police confirmed they were investigating. Anyone with information should call them on 101.