A pitbull-type dog nearly mauled a labrador to death in a savage 15 minute attack.
Christopher Butler, 38, was walking his chocolate lab Max on the Spen Valley Greenway when the dog, who was not with an owner, attacked.
Vets said four-year-old Max, “a big softie,” would have died if he was a smaller dog. He suffered deep wounds to his head, throat and right ear.
Now Christopher’s mum Iris and Rochele Ingham, who intervened, are warning others to be careful on the greenway.
Mrs Butler, of Walkley Terrace, Heckmondwike, said: “What if it had gone for a smaller dog or even a child? They wouldn’t stand a chance.”
Christopher, who has learning difficulties, was walking Max on the greenway, just off Carr Lane in Dewsbury Moor, as he does most nights.
At the same time, Mrs Ingham, 42, was driving to a friends when she heard what she thought was the sound of dogs playing.
But what she saw was Max laid on his side with the Pitbull’s jaw clamped around his head. Mrs Ingham tried everything she could to stop the relentless attack.
She said: “I beeped my horn, I sprayed de-icer in its face but it never flinched. It had a collar on and I tried to pull it off but it was really strong. The more I pulled the more I locked its jaw.”
The police were called but Mrs Ingham was told the issue was the dog warden’s responsibility. “I was hysterical,” she said. “Nothing I did would work. It makes me go cold to think of it.”
Dean Hirst, of Low Road, was cycling past and was finally able to stop the attack by jamming his foot between the two dogs.
He said: “It was so strong. It just snapped and saw red. It was like getting between two 6ft blokes.
“My main concern is that kids cycle along there and old people walk smaller dogs.”
Mrs Ingham, of Mirfield but now living in Huddersfield, picked up heavily-bleeding Max and put him in her car to take him to the vets. But the savage dog jumped into the back of her car and carried on the attack.
“It was like a dog possessed,” she said. “I have never seen anything like it and I hope I never have to again. I didn’t sleep for two nights.”
The dog chased her car up the road after she finally managed to shut the door.
Max, who is back home but still nervous after the ordeal, is still on painkillers. The vet’s bill ran to £400.
Mrs Butler said: “He’s such a big softie. There is no malice in him. We have a cat as well and they love one another.
“Christopher loves that dog. They have such a good relationship.”
Mrs Butler has not been back on the greenway since the attack last Thursday and the family now walk Max in pairs.
She has since heard others in the area speak of a pitbull on the greenway and that its name may be ‘Blaze’.
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “The dog wardens would normally deal with complaints about dogs straying, but may not be able to attend immediately.”