Dog walker, 28, attacked by pet dogs she was minding in 'frenzied attack' before horrified onlookers

Dog walker, 28, attacked by pet dogs she was minding in 'frenzied attack' before horrified onlookers
Representational Image (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SURREY, ENGLAND: After a woman was mauled to death by a pack of animals, the local council has seized eight dogs two of which are Dachshunds and one is a Leonberger. As per the accounts given by various horrified onlookers present at the time, the dog walker, 28, tried to keep the observers away even as the animals who were "like a pack of wolves", attacked her in the remote beauty spot called Gravelly Hill in Caterham at 2.45 pm on Thursday, January 12. 

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"There was no barking – just her screaming. She was being attacked, she was trying to sit up, but with the dogs around her and going for her arms, she couldn't do it. It was a frenzy", according to one bystander.  according to Daily Mail. At the time she was walking up to seven dogs and was trying to wrangle the animals after one pounced at a woman and her smaller dog who were also in the park. 

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"Most of them may have been still on their leads," one source told the Daily Mail, who reported the incident. "They were tangled around her, meaning she couldn't stand. It was impossible for them to get away, so in their frenzy they just went for what was in front of them." The council seized several species of dog from the scene and they remain locked up. Early reports indicate none of the dogs are of a dangerous or forbidden breed. They are thought to include a Leonberger, a cross between a Newfoundland and a St Bernard which can weigh up to 11 stone (70kg) and two sausage dogs. 

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It is not clear though how many dogs attacked the victim and only one of the dogs appeared to be of substantial size. Two horse riders who came across the ordeal, tried to intervene but, a source said "this woman in sheer panic was shouting at the riders ''go back, go back'." Two dogs then started running towards the horses leading to one bolting and galloping in terror back down the bridle path. The rider was thrown off. 

Susan Dove, the 60-year-old unseated driver said, "We could hear shouting and screaming. I thought 'oh my God, this is awful'." Following the attack, police arrived at the scene in several cars carrying armed officers and paramedics. The source added, "There was nothing the riders could have done. She just had too many dogs. If they get into a frenzy, you need to be able to control them. If something happens, it's like having seven small wolves attacking you." 

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According to The Mirror, the woman is feared to have fallen down a steep slope when she was savaged in the woodland. The relatives of the woman who are said to be from London have been informed and are being supported by the police. The woman who was initially bitten was later discharged from the hospital. 

Since the rapid increase of pet ownership during the Covid lockdown, locals said that there had been a surge in people paying for dog walking services. They suggested that many owners depended on dog walkers after returning to workplaces. "That particular area is where professional dog walkers will turn up in their van and take their dogs out and walk them", the boss of nearby Mardens Kennels, Richard Bream, said. "I've always felt you see some of these dog walkers have five or six and they shouldn't be able to do that."

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The authorities are now investigating whether the victim was a registered dog-walker. Inspector Lyndsey Whatley of Surrey Police said, "I would like to reassure residents that we are confident all the dogs involved are in the custody of police while we investigate the circumstances."

Lesley Hoffley, 62, who lives just yards away from where the incident took place, said, "No one seems to know anything and the police haven't been in touch at all. All we know is from what we see on the news. We don't know if the young lady was a local. It's hard to say because people come from all over to Gravelly Hill." The part-time copywriter added, "It just doesn't really make any sense. Why are there seven dangerous dogs around there and how did it happen? None of us who live round here have any idea. It's left the community feeling really anxious and, of course, heartbroken for whoever this young lady was." 

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Another resident who wished to remain anonymous, added, "It's unbelievable. We've not had too many details about it but everyone has been shaken by the news. This could have happened to anyone. All our thoughts are with the girl's family." 

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