A BELOVED pet dog died after he was viciously attacked in a park.

Hove resident Alexandra Rolfe said the loss of Hiro, her four-year-old miniature schnauzer, had left her feeling “totally bereft”.

The 40-year-old said: “My friend was looking after him for the day and went to take him for a walk in Preston Park.

“She said the other dog was off the lead and made a beeline for Hiro and went for his ribcage.

The Argus:

“My friend tried to prise its teeth off him but got bitten as well.

“She could hear Hiro still crying and when she looked down he was covered in blood.

“The owner of the other dog just ran away.”

Alexandra said her friend was in a “state of shock” as she rushed Hiro back to Alexandra in a taxi.

She said: “We took him to the vets in Portland Road who were able to stabilise him slightly then we had to take him in a taxi to a second vets for surgery.

“They tried to operate on him but the injuries were so severe they couldn’t save him.

“The vet said they were the worst he had ever seen.”

The Argus:

Alexandra said the bite marks were that of a medium to large dog and that she had been told by her friend it had looked like an American pitbull.

She said the dog’s owner had dark hair and a dark top.

Alexandra said: “I think it’s important this doesn’t become a witch hunt.

“I just need to know there is something being done because next time it could be another person’s dog or a child.

“News about the attack was posted on social media and I have had a lot of feedback from people saying there have been other attacks in the area by a dog of the same description.”

She also said that dog owners must take responsibility for the actions of their pet.

Alexandra said: “In parks a lot of people don’t let their dogs off the lead for this reason.

“It’s upsetting to know you can take all the necessary steps to try to protect your pet but it can still be taken away from you so suddenly.

“It’s crippling.”

She said she was supporting a national change.org petition which is demanding “harsher punishments for people whose dogs are dangerous, out of control in public and attack”.

It was started by Samantha Ward-Smith after her miniature dachshund was “ripped apart” at the beach.