A SOUTHAMPTON grandmother has been left with an £8,000 vet’s bill after her pet Jack Russell was mauled to death by another dog.

Mary Kelly said she was forced to hold Russell, her companion of 12 years, when vets put him to sleep after they were unable to do more to help him following an attack by an English Bull Terrier in Shirley.

Police are investigating the incident after Mary’s friend June Dumbleton, 63, was attacked while walking him along Dale Valley Road.

Despite trying to pick Russell up, the attacking animal jumped up at June and bit the smaller dog’s legs, snatching him from her and sending her to the ground.

“I have never been more petrified in my life,” she said.

“I screamed and I screamed and people came running out of their houses to help.

“They did everything they could to get him off, even threw bricks at it, but his teeth were locked in,”

she said.

The beloved pet was left with a broken nose and severe cuts across its body.

Vets and specialists from five different surgeries spent ten days trying to save him which included removing damaged teeth and amputating one of his legs, before they were forced to give up.

“I went and held him while they put him to sleep,” said Mary, 69.

“It was heartbreaking. He has been my companion ever since my husband died and was a lovely dog.

“Everybody liked him and he even talked to people – he could bark “hello” at people coming in the door, and would say “want one” when he wanted food.

Mary said she has now been left with vets bills of nearly £8,000 following the attack on June 23.

Her pet insurance is likely to cover half the amount while she has been forced to borrow the rest from her son.

“I want people to know there is this dangerous dog out there. If that had been a child it could have been a lot worse.

June, who lives round the corner from Mary, was treated for injuries to her knee and also injured her neck in the ordeal.

“There are also a lot of elderly people who walk their dogs around here and they could be seriously hurt,” said Mary.

According to the law, owners who allow any breed of dog to act dangerously and out of control in a public place can face prosecution, be fined or even face jail.

The friends are now waiting to hear if the owner of the dog will face prosecution after the incident.

A police spokesman confirmed they were called to the scene and are investigating.

The dog was taken away by the city council’s stray dog warden.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.