A tiny puppy was left for dead in a Crawley field after a horrific attack by four other dogs.
Little Hugo, a six-month-old miniature Chihuahua cross, wandered away from his home in Ifield without his owner realising when the attack happened.
And this week Hugo’s owner - international showjumper Yazmin Pinchen - pleaded with dog owners to keep their pets on leads even in rural areas.
She said the first she realised something was wrong was when she was in her stable yard at The Mount, Ifield, and heard screaming.
On discovering Hugo was missing, she set off to search for him. “He appeared a few minutes later from around the corner limping and covered in blood,” said Yazmin, 22.
“He had blood all over him and a gash on his front leg exposing all his flesh.”
Yazmin and boyfriend Nick McCulloch rushed the poorly pet to the vets who discovered Hugo had internal puncture holes and teeth marks all over him.
His skin had been torn away from his muscles and the punctures were deep. “They said he probably wouldn’t survive the night,” said Yazmin.
But Hugo proved himself made of sterner stuff and is now back home on the mend, although still traumatised by the attack.
“I don’t understand how anyone could leave a puppy to die like that,” said Yazmin. “God forbid an attack like this happens to someone else - it could be a child next.”
She said Hugo now had to be kept in a cage apart from her other dogs, including his mum Princess, while his wounds healed.
And she has been left with a vets’ bill for £1,500 and fears that she will no longer be able to take Hugo with her when she has to travel for her showjumping work as he has now been left so frightened after the savage mauling.
“He’s really like a little kid,” said Yazmin. “We bred him here. He’s my dog’s first puppy and we loved him from day one.”
She said the pup was “still very fragile” and was due to return to the vets next week.
“He’s normally a very independent puppy but now he just wants to sit in the house.”
She said all her dogs wore electric collars and could not stray far from the house.
Now she wants other dog owners to also be responsible for their pets: for owners to keep their dogs on leads and muzzle them if necessary.