THE distraught owner of a dog that was impaled on a vandalised fence said she hopes the culprits will think twice before damaging public property again.
Five-year-old border collie Lassie had been taken out for a run around Tamworth Park in Copnor, Portsmouth, on Sunday afternoon when the accident happened.
Heartbroken Denise Earley said she had heard voices and banging at around 1.30am that morning and thought nothing of it. It was not until Lassie was impaled on the broken fence at 4pm the same day that she realised what had been going on.
‘We had only been there for five minutes,’ she explained.
‘I was waiting for my husband to walk over with the other dogs. She was running, and then she turned to see another dog and collided with the fence. It was sticking right out of her.’
Denise, whose mobility is impaired because of a disability, said she was desperate to help her pet, but had to call for her husband to help.
‘Because I could not move quickly enough, I could not get to her,’ she said.
‘I could hear her flesh tearing as she got herself off. She was screaming.’
Lassie had an operation for her injuries and has stitches to piece together the torn skin.
Since she was sent home from the vets, Lassie has been wearing socks taped on to her feet and a T-shirt at night to stop her scratching at her injured body.
More than 200 messages of support have been sent to Lassie since the incident through Facebook as well as caring friends and neighbours dropping in to see her.
Rosettes won by the rescue dog hang in the family’s living room. Denise says she would like the people who damaged the fence to look at the suffering she has been through because of their actions.
She said there have been other acts of antisocial behaviour in the park.
David Moorman, Portsmouth City Council’s parks manager, said: ‘We inspect our play areas every day. In this case the area was inspected on Sunday morning and there were no reports of vandalism. It seems the damage was done later that day. We’re saddened by this unfortunate incident, caused by people recklessly damaging public property.’
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said antisocial behaviour in Tamworth Park has been a ‘policing priority over the past year’.
He added: ‘There have been increased patrols in the park to act on the concerns of the community.’