DUBAI // Two pet dogs belonging to a family were mauled to death by a large Doberman Pinscher roaming around a leafy neighbourhood.
Andrew Stevenson was walking his two dogs, a Toy Poodle and a Miniature Pinscher, when they were set upon and killed.
"I heard something behind me, I turned around and it was there," he said. "It then just destroyed my two dogs.
"One of them was still breathing so I took him to the vet, but there was no way they were going to survive the attack. They were in pieces, I'm surprised there weren't any limbs missing."
The incident happened at about 9pm on Monday in Jumeirah Village Triangle.
Mr Stevenson said the noise of the attack woke his 13-month-old daughter and his wife. "They had to witness their two dogs being torn to shreds," he said. "It's difficult to see for anyone, let alone a child."
Veterinarian Raimundo Tamagnini treated Mr Stevenson's surviving dog that evening but was unable to save it.
"The dog bit and shook the smaller dogs and it was done in seconds," the vet said. "The spines of both animals were crushed and dozens of other bones were broken. I've seen a lot of things in my career, but this was among the most violent. It was a big mess."
Mr Stevenson said a police report was filed on Monday evening, and a municipality report was in the process of being lodged.
However, Ghaith Al Falasi, the head of inspection at Dubai Municipality, said they had heard no news of the incident.
"We haven't heard anything," he said. "It would go through the police first and then it would come to us. The guy would normally be fined, around Dh5,000, and we would confiscate the dog for 21 days to look at the behaviour.
"If it is aggressive, or tests positive for rabies, it would be put to sleep."
Dobermans are not a banned breed in Dubai. However, they are not allowed to be kept in apartments and are not allowed to be taken off a lead without being muzzled.
Mr Stevenson said the dogs should be classed as being dangerous. "These are notoriously aggressive guard dogs, they shouldn't be kept as family pets. There needs to be a review of the law to take this into account," he said.
The Doberman is believed to have been owned by a neighbour in the community. However, it was not clear where the dog is now.
Residents said police had visited the alleged owner's villa, but the animal had apparently escaped.
A spokesman for Dubai Police was unable to comment.
The incident has terrified people living nearby. "We don't know where it is," said a neighbour, Stephen Manjai.
"I've been keeping my three-year-old son in the house because I don't want him to go out and be attacked by this savage dog. The dog should be put down, it's a night savage animal and a threat to the whole community."
Jackie Ratcliffe, the chair of animal charity, K9 Friends, said she had spoken to the owner of the Doberman, who was worried about what would happen to the animal.
"A guest apparently opened the door and the dog got out," she said. "The owners were gutted and they were frightened that someone would come and put their dog down."
She said the case shouldn't turn into a campaign against large dogs.
"It's awful what happened, but it was an accident," she said. "What we have to be careful of is this becoming a witch-hunt against big dogs. To these types of dogs, little dogs look like rabbits and cats, and it's in their instinct to chase and grab them. It's not necessarily the case that a dog will bite a child. It was an animal, and this is the kind of thing animals do to each other."