A MAN watched helplessly as a Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog ripped his dog apart during an afternoon shopping trip in a busy high street.

Richard Donovan, 87, from Rochford took his Yorkshire Terrier Trudi out shopping in Rayleigh High Street at 3pm last Thursday afternoon.

As he passed the staffie-type dog, which had been tied up outside the Halifax by a young woman with a small child, it broke free and savaged the helpless pet.

Her shocked owner was helped by passers-by, including a woman who ferried Mr Donovan and his wounded pet to a nearby vet. The 12-year-old dog’s injuries were so severe she had to be put down.

The staffie owner is said to have left them to it without making an attempt to help.

Mr Donovan who is staying with his daughter Pauline Matthews in Bedforshire while he gets over the ordeal, said: “It was very distressing. It was so sudden that I couldn’t reach her in time. I gave it four hard kicks to get it off but it had ripped her stomach open and her innards had come out.

“The woman with the dog didn’t seem to care. She didn’t help and there was no response from her, not even an apology.

“I used to take her everywhere with me, even to church. I don’t know what I would have done if it hadn’t been for the young man and a lady who helped me.”

Mrs Matthews, 56, said: “He is extremely upset because Trudi went everywhere with him. He rescued her when my mother died six years ago so she was a companion to him. I am worried how it will affect him. He is very tearful.”

Daniel Graham, the husband of Mr Donovan’s granddaughter, said: “My family and I would like to thank the person who took my wife’s grandfather and his dog to a vet.

“I cannot find the words to describe how this has affected him, he is absolutely distraught.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called shortly before 4pm on Thursday, November 1 following reports of a dog attacking a Yorkshire terrier in Rayleigh High Street an hour earlier. As a result of the injuries sustained the terrier had to be put down.

“An officer will be speaking to the owner to obtain a statement and details of the other dog owner.”