Portsmouth dad praised as 'hero' for saving daughter's dog from canine attack

A MOTHER of two has hailed her father as a ‘hero’ after he stopped her dog from being mauled to death.

Thursday, 15th April 2021, 7:00 am
Leah Bates and her daughter Ada, two, with Tyson the dog near their home in Somerstown Picture: Habibur Rahman

Tyson, a five-month-old XL bully pup, was being taken for a walk along Southsea Common by Lee Sharkey when a black Alsatian ran at them, baring its teeth.

The 50-year-old’s quick thinking saw him launch Tyson onto the wall of the war memorial, before climbing over himself – but not before Tyson was bitten in his left ear and one of his paws.

Lee’s daughter, Leah Bates, who owns Tyson, has thanked her dad for saving the dog’s life.

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Tyson Picture: Habibur Rahman

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She said: ‘When he rang me to say what had happened, I just felt so outraged.

‘We’ve cleaned his wounds and everything but I’m struggling to get over it – a dog like that should at least be kept on a lead.

‘Tyson is 30kg which is big for a puppy, but even though he’s super-friendly you can never be too careful.

The cut on Tyson the puppy

‘I am so thankful to my dad for his quick thinking. He’s an absolute hero, no doubt about it.’

Lee, who lives in Farlington, had to physically keep the attacking canine at bay while he got to safety himself.

He says he was a bit shaken up after the attack, but added that he simply acted on instinct.

‘I take the dog down to Southsea every day for a walk,’ he said.

‘We left the promenade and walked towards the war memorial when this jet black Alsatian came bombing towards us.

‘When it got close and got its teeth out I just knew I had to get Tyson out of the way.

‘Even when we got over the wall at the war memorial it was waiting at the entrance for us – it was quite intimidating, to be honest.’

Lee says he will be much more wary when taking Tyson for walks in the future.

But he added that he considers it fortunate that they were the ones to be attacked, rather than anyone else.

He said: ‘Imagine if it had been a child attacked by that dog – it would have been torn to shreds.

‘People really do need to be careful with letting their pets off a lead.’

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said it is a criminal offence to have a dog that is ‘out of control’.

She said: ‘A dog is considered to be out of control if it injures someone, or makes someone worried that it might injure them.

‘If anyone sees a dog loose, we urge them to report this online.

‘If the dog seems to be out of control, we would ask people to call us on 101.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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