The owner of a dog labelled ‘a Lytham legend’ says she has been moved to tears by the generosity and community spirit of Fylde folk after her much-loved pet was badly injured in an alleged attack.
Walter, a lurcher-saluki cross, has been the subject of Facebook blog entitled ‘The Life and Times of Walter - the Lytham legend’ since being found as a stray running loose around the town by owner Derren Riley and her family early last year.
Derren has also gone into print with a biography of Walter, which has sold hundreds of copies.
But while Derren was walking Walter in Witchwood, between Lytham and Ansdell, one afternoon last week, the pet was badly scarred in an encounter with another dog, which Derren has since reported to Fylde Council’s dog warden service.
Walter required stitches after being taken to the vet following the incident and later took a turn for the worse as necrosis set into the wound on his stomach.
Derren says she has also seen a major change to Walter’s temperament since the incident and has spent practically sleepless nights trying to nurse him back to health.
In the meantime, the vet’s bills have been accumulating but Derren has been delighted that Facebook followers of Walter’s adventures have rallied round to raise cash to try and cover them.
More than £1,000 was raised within 48 hours and Derren said: “I can’t believe how generous people have been. We called Walter a Lytham legend because he was found on the streets and people really seemed to care about him and what he got up to. One woman said to me after this attack: ‘He is the people’s dog’.
“Witchwood is among his favourite places for walks and it was just an ordinary day until this other dog appeared and went for him without warning. We are still hopeful that the owner of the other dog might cover the bills for Walter’s care and if any money from the contributions is left over, we will donate it to Homeward Bound, the charity through which we found Walter in the first place.
“The wound her suffered was a bad one and we had to take him back to the vet after necrosis set in but he has also suffered mentally. We are nursing him back gently to health at home but it has meant plenty of long and even sleepless nights.
“He has only been taking a little food and water, has lost a lot of weight and his once shiny beautiful coat is dull and shaved. He is completely shut down, which is heart breaking, but people’s support and generosity has been a real comfort.”
A spokesman for Fylde Council said the authority was investigating a “complaint regarding a dog on dog attack in Witchwood”.