A Dunfermline man has told how he covered the body of a tiny dog with a t-shirt to prevent schoolchildren from witnessing the bloodbath after it was mauled to death by a bigger dog.
John Carstairs tried unsuccessfully to help save the papillon from the jaws of the rogue Staffordshire bull terrier in Harris Place, Dunfermline.
Despite having a disability, he rushed to the aid of dog owner Joy Kennedy after hearing her pet’s yelps of pain.
He kicked the staffie several times in the head to make it release the other dog and confronted its owner, Robert Dalton, when he came looking for it.
Ms Kennedy was able to save her other dog, Morgan, by picking her up.
Mr Carstairs said the attack left the street outside his home covered in blood.
He said: “Because it was at the time of all the kids going to school I put an old t-shirt over it to stop the kids seeing.
“She (Ms Kennedy) kept thanking me for trying to save her dog.
“That dog (the staffie) took some getting off.
“I don’t like cruelty to animals but I don’t know how many times I kicked that dog in the head until it released.
“I said to the owner, ‘Your dog just killed another dog’ and he said it had been attacked by a small dog when it was wee and was frightened of them – but that wasn’t fear.”
John’s wife, Helen, said they had been watching the morning news when she and her husband heard a “terrible” yelp.
She said: “We looked at each other and I said to my husband ‘that’s bad’. The noise was worse than when you stand on a dog’s paw – it’s high pitched and it goes on.
“It makes the hair at the back of your neck stand up.
“My husband came out of the house and found a big dog attacking a wee dog.
“He kicked the dog to get it off. He’s disabled and I didn’t know he could get his leg that high – that’s what adrenaline does for you.
“I knew it was dead right away. John got to the corner and saw the owner coming down – the language was blue.
“I know some neighbours have had concerns about that dog for a while.
“For a long time the other dog (Morgan) wouldn’t come along this way.”
Mrs Carstairs said the incident will stay with them both for a long time.
She said: “Even now I can still hear it.
“For days we just couldn’t forget it – it stays with you.
“It’s an awful sound that even now still lives with you.
“I have never heard anything like it and I hope never to hear it again.”
Mr Carstairs added he needed medical treatment after scratches sustained in the incident became infected.
“I don’t know how she (Ms Kennedy) wasn’t bitten. The attacking dog got my leg.
“I was back and forth to the doctors for three months.
“I didn’t know at the time because it was a few days until they became infected.”
Dalton later came to the Carstairs’ door with a bunch of flowers but they angrily ordered him to take them to Piper’s owner.
Ms Kennedy, 72, said she accepted the flowers but could not bear talking to Dalton and closed the door in his face.
She said: “He brought flowers the next day. I wasn’t happy and I took them and closed the door.”
She said Piper – just a year old when he died – was on a lead at the time he was attacked.
“I was out with Morgan and Piper during our usual morning walk.”
Screaming for help
She continued: “The dogs were walking beside me on lead and I didn’t see the other dog as it came up behind me.
“It got hold of Piper and wouldn’t let go. He weighed all of 5lb and be had this 90lb behemoth on top of him and he couldn’t move.
“I grabbed Morgan before it could latch on to her and kill her.
“I was screaming for help and kicking at it.
“It had no collar or harness on – there was nothing I could grab.
“It finally let go when Piper was dead.
“I was in total shock – you don’t expect something to happen like that on the street.
“Since then we have been scared of big dogs and understandably freak out – I’m worried it will happen again.”
Dalton, 76, admitted having a dangerously out of control dog in on January 29 2019 and now faces having his dog put down.
He will be sentenced at a later date.