A CAT sleeping on its owner’s driveway has been mauled to death by a dog - right in front of its shocked owner.

Barry Harrop, 62, of Tallis Road, Laindon, had owned black moggy Ben for six years, after rescuing the cat from Pitsea market, where he used to work selling motor accessories.

The tragedy happened last Thursday when he let Ben out into the front garden as usual after feeding him and sat down to have his dinner.

Barry, who suffers from ill health and struggles to walk, said: “I sat down to have my evening meal when I heard a lot of noise coming from outside.

“I looked out the window and there was a woman holding a dog shouting and hollering and a man on the floor fighting with another dog.

“Ben was in the middle of it all.

“I tried to get out as fast as I could but I couldn’t find my walking stick.

“When I got outside, Ben was in the dog’s mouth and he was shaking it from side to side.”

Horrified, Barry was only able to get the Staffordshire Bull Terrier to stop attacking his beloved pet by covering its nose.

The dog then dropped Ben, but Barry said he’d been left in a “horrible” state.

He claims that there was no way the man with the dog could have held the animal securely as he had an arm in a sling and the dog was wearing a collar, not a harness.

He said the owners of the dogs were both upset about what had happened and claimed the dog had slipped the collar over its head and gone for the cat.

A neighbour rushed Barry and Ben to the vet, who said that sadly there was nothing that could be done for him.

He told Barry the dog had caused “unbelievable injuries” to Ben and had crushed most of the bones in his body.

Barry has been left heartbroken by the death of his much-loved cat, and wants action to be taken against the dogs’ owners.

He said: “Everyone round here knew Ben.

“The next door neighbour’s kids used to always pet him and he sometimes got into James Hornsby School and I would have to fetch him back.

“A lot of the neighbours used to feed him as well.

“I talked to him like I would a child and always warned him about crossing the road.

“I would sometimes see him when I was out on my mobility scooter and give him a ride home.

“Ben has always been there in my life and I feel as though I have nothing left now.”

He is concerned that it could have been a child that was attacked and wants the “archaic” laws about dogs to be changed so that if one attacks a cat it has to be destroyed.

He also wants the dog that attacked Ben to be put down.