Police criticised after family pet killed by dogs

Deborah Stevens and son Thomas Stevens who have been left devastated after their dog was killed by neighbouring dogs. They are especially shocked at the lack of interest by police who failed to attend despite 18 calls. ANL-150806-203159009

Deborah Stevens and son Thomas Stevens who have been left devastated after their dog was killed by neighbouring dogs. They are especially shocked at the lack of interest by police who failed to attend despite 18 calls. ANL-150806-203159009

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Suffolk Police has been criticised by two families for slow response after a much-loved family pet was killed by neighbouring dogs.

Last Wednesday Deborah Stevens was called to her neighbour’s home in The Street, Ashen, to be shown her beloved family pet lying dead in the garden.

Although it is unclear how, a panel had been broken and the neighbour’s Staffordshire bull terriers had dealt a fatal bite to the rough-collie’s neck.

Tensions have been high between the families since, however, the response from police disappointed both households.

“Devastated” Mrs Stevens said she had rung the police 18 times on the Wednesday and Thursday, requesting officers come out to assess the situation, look at the dead dog and decide whether any action needed to be taken over the two terriers.

However, she said she was told the matter was “not important”, claiming her son-in-law had been told by one officer that “it was only a dog”.

Essex Police was unable to confirm this, however a spokeswoman for the force admitted that officers had been unable to respond.

She said: “Police were contacted at just before 4pm on Wednesday, June 3, following reports that a dog had been killed by two other dogs.

“Regrettably, due to more serious incidents elsewhere, officers were unable to immediately attend. However all parties were visited by officers on Friday, June 5.”

Mrs Stevens has criticised this, saying the evidence had to be buried.

The owners of the terriers said that while the two dogs were harmless, they agreed that the police response had been slow and said the family was happy to work with officers to prove the dogs’ safety.