A woman screamed out in desperation after a “frenzied” group of dogs fatally attacked her “like a pack of small wolves”. The unnamed woman was walking the dogs in Caterham, Surrey, when the attack occurred on Thursday. It came moments after one of the pets had bitten another woman.
The unnamed woman was walking the dogs in the popular beauty spot when the attack occurred.
She was found by two horse riders as she lay dying in the aftermath of the tragic attack.
One said: “That image will haunt me for a long time.”
Police have since cordoned off the Gravelly Hill area as forensic work is carried out to discover if there were any other factors in her death.
Meanwhile, all eight animals have been seized and are currently being held in police kennels.
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On the incident, one local told the Sun: “She just had too many dogs. You cannot be in control of that number of dogs.
“They were in a frenzy, acting as a pack of small wolves and going for whatever was in front of them.”
A second said: “There was no barking – just her screaming. She was being attacked, she was trying to sit up, but with the dogs around her and going for her arms she couldn’t do it. It was a frenzy.”
Another local resident added that the incident had “left the community feeling anxious and, of course, heartbroken for whoever this young lady was”.
Richard Bream of The Mardens Kennels said: “Professional dog walkers often turn up here in their vans. You see some with five or six dogs. I’ve always thought they shouldn’t be able to do that.”
The incident has sent shockwaves through the local community, and has raised questions about how a group of pets could have turned on their walker.
Speaking about what may have caused the tragedy, the Canine and Feline Behaviour Association’s Colin Tennant said the atttack may have been caused by an adrenaline rush within th epack.
He added: “The high energy of a fight situation can redirect more aggression back into the melee. Possibly the dog walker has lost balance and has been targeted. “When energy gets up in a situation like that, inter-pack fighting can take place and dogs can bite anyone, even if they are trying to help.
“Some dogs can potentially decide to focus on a group leader which could’ve led to the tragedy. Unless the dogs are highly trained, walking any more than four at once is not recommended”
As a result, the attack could have arisen due to a culmination of factors, including the pack getting worked up and turning on someone, in this case the dog walker.
After seizing the animals, the police say none of them were from banned breads and that they included a Leonberger and two Daschunds.
It is known that before the attack, one of the dogs had bitten another woman in the area.
This woman has since been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment.
Police closed off the area in the wake of the incident.
They continue to investigate the incident.