Cameo, a miniature horse that was attacked by a dog, with owner Pamela Roche. Picture: Brock PerksMINIATURE horse Cameo owes her life to the Shortland residents who came to rescue her.
They fought off a dog that was attacking her in Tuxford Park on Thursday.
Cameo was on a regular walk with her owner Pamela Roche when the dog appeared.
It nipped Cameo’s back legs before it turned to her front legs and neck. The rug she was wearing bore the brunt of the teeth marks before the dog latched onto the skin around her right eye.
Cameo screamed. Ms Roche wrestled with the dog and tried to put it in a head lock and pull it off her horse, but it would not budge.
‘‘It was the most horrific incident, if they hadn’t of helped the dog would have killed her – she is 13 inches tall and she is so delicate, she is my four-legged child,’’ Ms Roche said.
‘‘The dog wasn’t interested in me or the people who were beating it with sticks to try to get it off, it was so focused on Cameo.’’
Ms Roche said the dog’s owner was nearby and tried to call the dog back but it would not come.
The Newcastle Herald understands the dog has Pitball and Staffy bloodlines and its owner is from Shortland.
A mother and son who live in a house near the park came out and helped the other residents fend off the dog while Cameo went inside.
The right side of her face was a pool of blood. Her eyelid had dropped and the skin under her eye was torn.
Ms Roche used salt water to flush the wound while her husband brought their horse float around to take them to the vet. Vet Dr Nigel Dunn carefully stitched the skin back around the eye in his Mayfield clinic and prescribed a tetanus shot, along with antibiotics and anti-flammatories. Ms Roche is faced with an anxious few days ahead before the extent of the damage is known.
She has urged dog owners to keep their pets on a leash when using the park so it can be a safe place for everyone. ‘‘If the dog had a collar and a lead on we would have had something to use to try to control it,’’ Ms Roche said.
‘‘There’s a sign in the park that clearly says dogs should be on a lead at all times.
Cameo competes on the show circuit and was state champion at a recent show. She has helped children learn about miniature horses.