A mother of two whose King Charles cavalier died after being attacked by a dog suspected to be an American XL bully said the incident has “destroyed our family” and welcomed the Government’s plan to ban the breed.
Cam Maguire, a school office manager from Chessington, Greater London, took her eight-year-old dog Beau for a walk around her local park, Bonesgate Open Space, on Wednesday evening when a much larger dog matching the appearance of an XL bully “charged” at her pet and “wouldn’t let go”.
Local resident Roberta Tuckwell, 46, had her hands bitten by the larger dog and is taking antibiotics to treat her cuts after she helped to free Beau from the suspected XL bully’s grip.
Ms Maguire said she has been left “distraught” and reported the incident to the Metropolitan Police.
The 39-year-old told the PA news agency: “We’ve lost so much.
“We lost our beautiful baby dog and people have lost lives and it’s just destroyed our family. We’re so distraught.”
The family had Beau since he was a puppy and Ms Maguire’s children, Jack, 13, and Sienna, 12, have been left devastated by the incident.
She said: “My daughter doesn’t even want to eat, she’s so sick.”
Ms Maguire said she saw the dog across the park with a young girl aged between 10 and 11 years old who was holding its lead.
The mother of two walked away from the larger dog after noticing it before it “charged” towards her King Spaniel cavalier.
She said: “(The suspected XL bully) just came charging up to my dog and just grabbed hold of Beau and he wouldn’t let go.
“I was screaming and trying to get him off but I just couldn’t. He was just so forceful.”
Her partner, Daniel Connery, 46, headed to the incident and managed to speak to the owners, but was left traumatised after he told Ms Maguire that “the owners showed no remorse”.
Ms Maguire was helped by Ms Tuckwell, 46, who rushed to the sounds of a screaming woman on the field and called the incident “horrendous”.
Ms Tuckwell said she is a family friend of the owners of the suspected XL bully and said the dog is a six-month-old puppy.
Ms Tuckwell, who lives near the field where the incident happened, told PA: “I’ve come up and I’m hearing this screeching, a woman screaming, I’ve never heard anything like it.
“It was horrendous what that dog did.”
She punched the large dog in the head to release his grip on Ms Maguire’s dog before giving chest compressions on Beau, but was unable to save him.
She said: “(Beau) was not good. The way it was breathing, I could tell it was in complete shock. Its pupils blown dilated.
“As I was feeling down its back, I could notice it had broken its neck and back where it had been ragged.”
Ms Tuckwell said the incident was “unfair” for all onlookers and expressed her concern for the young girl who was holding the suspected XL bully dog’s lead at the time.
She said: “It was horrendous for me as someone that has… trained dogs. I’ve worked in that industry and to see that, I was appalled.
“The little girl that was holding that dog was just as devastated as the one that lost a dog.
“It was unfair on absolutely everybody that witnessed it.”
Both women have welcomed the Government’s decision to ban XL bully dogs and believe that children should not be left responsible with a dog of that size.
Ms Maguire said: “I can’t see any good in breeding them. They’re not bred for family pets so what are they bred for? Why do people want these pets in their house around children and other animals?
It was just a nice evening, we just went for a walk and then you come back without him. It's just not right
Cam Maguire, owner of King Charles cavalier Beau
“They’ve caused so much pain to my family and the whole community, everyone is in mourning. It’s just disgusting.
“They should always be on a lead and with a responsible owner. No child under 16 should be in charge of a dog and be responsible for it. They should be muzzled.”
Ms Tuckwell added: “It should be banned. I don’t think they should be allowing the breeding of that type of dog or allowing that dog into this country.
“It’s a puppy and it should never have been in a kid’s hands.
“It was on a normal lead – a dog like that should have a harness and be muzzled.”
Ms Maguire said the incident was “not right” and said Beau was undeserving of losing his life as she believes XL bully dogs “shouldn’t be on the streets”.
She said: “It was just a nice evening, we just went for a walk and then you come back without him. It’s just not right.
“It’s just a shame that we had to lose Beau for it to come to this. It’s just not right, he didn’t deserve to go that way.”