A heroic joiner has spoken of the moment he saved a pensioner and her pet dog after they were savaged by two Staffordshire bull terriers that got loose.
Jason Dean, 32, heard terrified Margaret Nowell screaming for help as he worked at a property on Cocker Lane, Leyland - where the woman often walks her son’s dog, Billy.
Margaret, 69, suffered terrible injuries to her hands, and Jason’s finger was badly bitten as they tried to save little Billy, 12, on August 5 last year.
Sadly, the brave border and patterdale terrier cross had to have his leg amputated in a £3,500 operation.
The dogs’ owner, Melissa Quinn, 25, of Holmes Meadow, Leyland, was given a curfew and a rehabilitation activity requirement by Preston magistrates after pleading guilty to five counts under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The court made an order for the dogs to be destroyed unless they are kept in secure conditions to prevent escape, are muzzled, on a lead, and kept in control of a person over 16.
Quinn must also pay Margaret £3,459.54 compensation.
Recalling the terrifying ordeal, Jason, 32, from Hutton, said: “I went to my van and I thought I heard someone scream ‘help’, but it was very faint and I doubted myself.
“But I heard it again, so I looked around and 150 yards away I could see someone on the ground - I thought she had fallen.
“As I jogged towards her she screamed again and I could hear the panic in her voice.
“There were two Staffies, a black and a white one. One was attacking her dog and she was on the floor trying to prise it free - but it was also biting her.
They were covered in blood.
“I saw her phone on the ground 10 metres away and realised they must have dragged her that far.
“She asked me to try to get her dog and lift it above my head so they couldn’t get it.”
They managed to get Billy free, but then the other dog jumped up at Jason and bit his hand. The dog viciously snatched Billy by his leg and tore him from Jason’s grip.
Despite his injury he managed to shoo them away and they ran off towards Moss Side.
Margaret’s husband picked Billy up and took him to the vets, while she and Jason were treated at the hospital for their injuries.
Margaret said: “The dogs attacked my son’s little dog and I, in trying to save him, got bitten myself.
“The awful thing is I was minding him for weekend as I mind him often and he loves his walks.
“It was horrible. I am getting there now trying to keep as busy as possible.
“Without Jason being there I really didn’t think I would have got through. I think Billy and myself would have died - I certainly felt that way.
“I had stitches in my middle finger and various bites on my left hand but they are healed now.
“My wedding ring was cut off so hence no ring but Billy is all that matters.
“Billy has never been to the vets for anything in his life. At Hillcrest Hospital they praised him and said what a lovely dog he was, he did everything they asked of him. He was so brave.”
Responding to the owner’s sentence she added: “I hate to think of any animal being put to sleep, I just hope they are muzzled.”
Jason said: “ I think the white one should have been put to sleep - it was extremely vicious. We work in a lot of homes and now if a dog comes towards me I always take a step back. The only dog I trust is my own dog, Lola.”
After the incident, Margaret found the house Jason had been working at and sent him a card with their thanks.