A FAMILY dog needed an operation after it was attacked by another dog while walking in a field in Sompting.
Larkin, a five-year-old collie-labrador cross, was taken to Grove Lodge Surgery for stitches after the attack, at a cost of £600 to its owners.
Larkin’s owner Tracy Hodgson, 41, of Hillrise Avenue in Sompting warned: “Next time, it could be a child.
She said “It’s broken our hearts that he had to go through that.
“He wouldn’t hurt a fly. He is so soft and he’s not interested in other dogs.
“As long as he has his ball he is happy.”
The attack took place on September 18 at 6.45pm while the family were walking Larkin in a field close to Halewick Lane Park in Sompting.
Tracy said: “Both dogs were off the lead and we were throwing the ball for Larkin.
“We were nowhere near anybody else when a dog came out of nowhere, barking a lot.
“It came up and knocked Larkin over and then ran off. The owner was just standing there watching. She didn’t apologise or anything.
“Five minutes later we found a big hole on his side. My nine-year-old daughter was with us and she was hysterical.
Tracy said the dog was friendly towards people but appeared to have a problem with other dogs,
She said: “My daughter was crying. I sent my husband to the vet with the dog and he had to stay there overnight.”
Tracy said owners who know their dog has a problem with other dogs should muzzle their pets.
Although Tracy reported the incident to the police, there was little they could do and they advised her to contact the dog warden.
Tracy said: “If it was me attacking a dog or a dog attacking a child something would be done.”
The dog that attacked Larkin is described as looking like a collie but with the colouring of a German shepherd.
Both dogs are medium to large sized.
Tracy said she had heard of another recent attack in Lancing, in which a smaller dog had been killed.
She is urging others to be cautious when out walking their dogs.
Report a dog control issues at www.adur-worthing.gov.uk/dogs/dog-control-orders/