Jennifer Lewis and her husband Pat with their beloved Schnauzer Iris, which was mauled to death by a pitbull on the Westport Greenway.

Plea as beloved Schnauzer is mauled to death by pitbull

The heartbroken Mayo owner of a beloved Schnauzer dog which was mauled to death by an unmuzzled pitbull on the busy greenway in Westport, has expressed concern that a child may possibly be the next victim of the vicious animal.

Jennifer Lewis, whose dog Iris, had to be put down by a vet after it was attacked at 7pm on June 27 while it was being walked by her 81-year-old father-in-law, warned today that inevitably the pitbull will attack again.

“We can’t allow that to happen”, she insisted. “This dog has a taste for blood now.

“We can’t wait for the next incident when a child will possibly be savaged.

“This is a dangerous breed of dog. It has attacked once and will undoubtedly do again.

“Westport Greenway is meant to be a safe place for families to walk with their dogs, with their children, on scooters and bicycles but it no longer so."

Ms Lewis, in an interview this morning with Tommy Marren on Midwest Radio, says gardaí have been notified of the attack and appealed for information as to who the owners of the pitbull are.

Outlining details of what had happened, she said her father-in-law had been walking Iris near the High Street bridge on the greenway when the pitbull, which was accompanied by two teenage girls, suddenly attacked.

Ms Lewis continued: “The grey and white pitbull was on a lead but the girls could not control it.

“Iris was mauled aggressively. My father-in-law, who was severely traumatised afterwards, rushed her to a vet, but unfortunately she had such severe injuries she had to be put down.

“The girls left the scene. The pitbull was covered in blood and undoubtedly went back into the family home, so its owners know something happened”.

Expressing dismay that the offending animal is still at large in the community, Ms Lewis appealed for anyone with information – such as CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage – to come forward.

She said her research showed that in the month of June alone in Ireland there had been four pitbull attacks on humans.

“What happened to Iris isn’t just a singular event happening in Westport.

"This is happening across our country with a very dangerous breed of dog that is banned in the UK and Northern Ireland."

Citing regulations that oblige pitbull owners to have their dogs muzzled, Ms Lewis said the law also stipulates that one needed to be over 16 years of age to walk such animals.

“But I don’t think age matters when a dog has such strength in it,” she added.

Ms. Lewis said her father-in-law “absolutely adored” Iris, who was six years old.

“Any time my husband and I went away for a night, or for a weekend, or on holidays, he walked the legs off her, two or three times a day.

“He is the most loving and gracious of men you could meet and the fact that he had to go through such a traumatic experience is just horrible.”

Gardai at Westport (098-50230), or on the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111, would welcome information.