Bosham family’s dog ‘lucky to be alive’ after mauling

Bodie the labrador-cross before being attacked
Bodie the labrador-cross before being attacked

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A Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been destroyed after it mauled a beloved family dog, leaving it with horrific injuries.

Bodies injuries were the worst the vets had ever seen and required five hours of surgery

Bodies injuries were the worst the vets had ever seen and required five hours of surgery

The attack happened close to Bosham Harbour on Saturday afternoon and such were the extent of the savaged dog’s injuries, it needed more than five hours of surgery.

The injured dog’s family are still in distress, and to make matters worse they have been hit with a £3,000 vet’s bill, after finding out their pet insurance has just run out.

Natascha Relf said only the quick thinking of her 15-year-old son Khaian, who was walking labrador-cross Bodie at the time, prevented it from being killed.

“Our dog’s injuries are horrific,” Natascha said. “He has been stripped of flesh from the front of his chest to his rear abdomen.

Bodie with the Relf children, who adore their family pet

Bodie with the Relf children, who adore their family pet

“He is lucky to be alive and was only saved by my son’s selfless bravery during the attack.”

Natascha said Khaian was on his way home from Bosham Harbour, heading towards the car park at the back the Co-Op at around 3pm with eight-year-old Bodie, who was on a lead.

Out of nowhere a loose Staffordshire Bull Terrier launched itself on Bodie, clamping its jaw down on the stunned dog’s left shoulder and ripping through to its leg.

Only Khaian ‘repeatedly stamping’ on the aggressive dog made it loosen it’s grip, as it tried to bite the teenager’s foot. Thankfully Khaian wasn’t hurt in the attack.

Bodie before undergoing five hours of surgery

Bodie before undergoing five hours of surgery

Natascha said the vets where the stricken animal was taken, Priors Leaze Veterinary Centre, ‘had never seen such horrific injuries before’ and the five-hour surgery was the ‘longest the practice had ever performed’.

“We are still in shock. There is a long road to recovery and aftercare ahead,” she said.

“Unbelievably our own dog insurance expired, unbeknownst to us, just a month ago.

“It usually self renews, but due to the underwriter no longer providing cover for pets it didn’t, so it’s left us with a £3,000 vet’s bill which we have to pay.

Some of the dog's injuries. Images kindly supplied by Priors Leaze Veterinary Centre, Nutbourne

Some of the dog's injuries. Images kindly supplied by Priors Leaze Veterinary Centre, Nutbourne

“The owner of the attacking dog has not offered to pay for the vet fees, and according to the police there is no law to force him.”

Sussex Police has confirmed that the dog had been seized and destroyed.

A spokesman said the Staffie’s owner was also believed to have been bitten as he tried to restrain it, and later ‘agreed that it should be destroyed’.

Natascha said her four children all adore Bodie, a rescue dog who has been in the family since being about 11 weeks old.

Bodie turned eight on Tuesday, the day of returning home from the vets.

Natascha said Bodie was badly shaken and the family would have to ‘wait and see’ how well their pet recovers.

The Staffie who attacked Bodie has been put down

The Staffie who attacked Bodie has been put down

The Relf family have already received donations to help them pay for the fees.

To see how to help them click here