Family pet killed by Alsatian at Catton Park

A Sprowston family have been left devastated after their much-loved dog had to be put down after it was attacked by an Alsatian.

Sharon Ellis, 43, said Benji, her family's six-year-old Lhasa Apso, had been on a walk with family friend Jason Annis in Catton Park when the attack happened on Wednesday night.

She said she wanted to warn other dog owners about the vicious Alsatian and appealed for anybody who saw what happened or who knew of the dog to contact the police.

'Benji has been part of our family since he was a puppy. He was a very playful dog and he never hurt anyone. He was just such a lovely little dog. We are devastated. It is like we have lost one of our family,' said Miss Ellis, who has three children, Ben, 23, Sam, 18, and Kyna, nine.

'People need to be aware. It could have been a little child that was attacked.'

Mr Annis, 36, who had been training Benji to walk off the lead for some time, said: 'Benji was just wandering along ahead of me and an Alsatian came out of the woods. They both sniffed each other then suddenly the Alsatian was dragging Benji by the back and throwing him around like a rag doll.'

He said the Alsatian's owner was nowhere to be seen, and he was so worried about Benji that he was not able to look for the owner.

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When they took Benji to the vet's they were told that Benji's back had been broken, and that the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep.

There have been concerns about out of control dogs elsewhere in Norwich. Earlier this year more than 360 people signed a petition requesting dogs be kept under control in Douro Place, off Dereham Road, after attacks on pets. Last year in Norfolk, 40 crimes were recorded by police under the Dangerous Dogs Act, 39 of which were attacks on people.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: 'We were alerted to an alleged incident involving two dogs in the Catton area at about 7.30pm on Wednesday. The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated.'

Anyone with information should call Norfolk Police on 0845 4564567.

Do you have a story about dangerous dogs? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email