A family have been left "distraught" after they were forced to put their miniature Yorkshire Terrier to sleep after a dog attack left her insides hanging out.

Colin Hyde, 72, was walking his beloved pet Poppy when another dog slipped out from under its lead and targeted her near The Five Alls pub, in Stockton.

The devastated pensioner said that the dog charged at his nine-year-old Yorkshire Terrier before it clenched its jaws onto her and wouldn't let go.

He said that its owner, who was walking two dogs, had tried to stop his pet before his second animal attempted to launch another attack, reports Teesside Live.

"This dog was like a rocket, faster than a greyhound," described Colin.

"Poor Poppy had no chance, I was shouting 'get it off, get it off'.

"Its jaws were locked on, it was just horrendous."

Colin, who lives with his 71-year-old wife Lynda, said his wife is struggling to eat or sleep following the attack, which has left him with frightening flashbacks.

"I don't want anyone else to go through this at all, it's just horrendous," he added.

"The dog was minding her own business, she never growls or barks.

"The poor animal – all her insides were ripped out, it's terrible."

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Kelly and Phil McCarten, who run The Five Alls, were on their way home when they jumped in to help separate the dogs.

"We were slapping the dog, punching the dog, kicking the dog. In the end, the only way we could get it off was my husband choking the dog out. It was just not letting go," said Kelly.

"I picked her up, it was not a nice sight put it that way. One of my neighbours ran out, she got a towel or blanket and wrapped her up and kept her warm.

"It was just horrific, just absolutely horrific. Poppy didn't stand a chance."

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Poppy, who had been disembowelled during the attack, was rushed to the vets who were unable to help her.

The couple's daughter Allison Williams, 46, said her parents have been left gutted after they were forced to say goodbye to their pet.

"The vets couldn't put her back together, she would have suffered serious infection," she said.

"My mam has just had a major stroke and is paralysed down the left-hand side, it's the last thing she needed.

"She's my mam's little get up and go with this stroke. She's my mam's life. Everywhere my mam was Poppy was."

Allison went on to say that she contacted Cleveland Police about the incident on her parent's behalf but said they "don't seem to be doing anything about it."

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She claims that the police told her that the dog in question was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – which doesn't fall under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

"I've got a Staffy at home and these dogs looked nothing like that at all. It just feels as though I have been pushed from pillar to post," she said.

"I just want justice for this little dog."

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A force spokesperson told Teesside Live: “Our Dog Legislation Officer has spoken at length with Poppy’s owner and family and after seeing the dog, has explained that it is not a breed banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

"We know how distressing these dog-on-dog incidents are for people and know that owners expect that we can always take action, however officers can only make decisions on what it set out in the legislation, looking at the circumstances of the incident and an assessment of the dog said to be responsible.”

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