A BRIDPORT couple have been left devastated after their beloved dog was killed in an attack by an XL bully.

The couple's West Highland terrier Ollie was grabbed by the neck in the "horrific" attack by the banned breed.

Sadly, the injuries were catastrophic after a large part of Ollie's neck had been ripped out, and it had to be put down by a vet.

The attack dog, which police said was a 'stray', was found by officers and was also taken to a vet. Police are trying to trace the owner.

Since February this year, it has been a criminal offence to own an American XL bully dog without an exemption certificate.

Ollie's owners  - who only wanted to be identified as Ken and Angela - say their dog was 13 years old and had lived with them since he was a puppy.

Ken, 77, was walking Ollie off Wellfields Drive in Bridport at the weekend when he said the XL bully "appeared out of nowhere".

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Ollie was injured in an attack off Wellfields Drive in BridportOllie was injured in an attack off Wellfields Drive in Bridport (Image: Google Maps)

The dog dashed across the road and grabbed Ollie by his neck.

A man passing by in his van attempted to help Ken get the XL bully off his dog, and after a struggle they managed to set Ollie free.

Ken also sustained injuries to his hand and arm trying to free his dog.

Ken said: "It was horrific. The dog bit so hard on Ollie's neck that it did an awful lot of damage.

"We were beating the hell out of this dog, trying to get it off we just couldn't, it was so strong.

"I managed to grab its collar and choke the dog until it let go.

"Ollie was badly hurt but he managed to walk home just out of sheer adrenaline, I then wrapped him up and took him to the vet.

"The damage was so horrific that it wasn't kind to keep him alive.

"It has broken our hearts."

Ken said the death of his beloved pet has devastated his family.

He said: "He was a fine dog, he grew up with our family and our grandchildren, he was a part of our family.

"Everyone is totally devastated, it is such a horrible end for anybody.

"He had a lovely life here in Bridport, everybody who knew us loved Ollie and it is a loss for the whole community of dog walkers.

"He was a big part of our life, he went everywhere with us.

Police investigating the attack are appealing for the owner of the XL bully to come forward.

The attack happened on Saturday morning, April 20.

A spokesperson for Dorset Police said: "Dorset Police received a report at 9.44am on Saturday 20 April that a stray dog had attacked a Westie off Wellfields Drive in Bridport.

"The Westie was taken to the vets and sadly put down due to the injuries sustained. Officers attended and the stray dog – a suspected XL bully – was taken to the vets.

"Enquiries are continuing and we would ask the owner of the stray dog to please get in touch quoting incident number 20:137.

"Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling Freephone 0800 555 111."

Ken added: "I wouldn't want anyone to experience what I witnessed, it was horrific.

"Knowing there is nothing you can do is the hardest part.

"I haven't slept properly in days, I keep thinking did I do enough? What could I have done to save him?

"The following morning I went back to wash all of the blood off the road, it was horrible.

"I want to thank the man who helped me, he came round afterwards and I had to tell him that Ollie hadn't made it."

Ken suggested the legislation surrounding XL bully dogs may have forced owners of the breed to 'dump' their dogs as this one was seemingly roaming around freely without an owner.

He added: "Not all XL bully dogs are nasty, there has to be blame on the owners.

"A life has now been taken that shouldn't have been."