A WOMAN whose dog was trampled to death by a horse has issued a warning to other pet owners.
Vanessa Newman, 51, was walking her dogs Dolly and Coco in a field near her home in Newhaven when she stopped to feed some carrots to the horses.
A horse pushed her aside and trampled on six-year-old miniature schnauzer Dolly and her three-year-old chihuahua cross Coco.
Dolly broke her neck in the attack and later died.
Coco suffered a broken leg. She has had an operation to put a plate in her leg and is now on the mend but will have to be kept in a cage for six weeks while she recovers.
Ms Newman said:“Dolly and Coco were like my babies.
“I never would have thought that something so awful could happen.
“We are all struggling to come to terms with it but I just hope people realise the dangers of horses.
“I blame myself. But I don’t think aggressive horses should be kept in fields which the public can walk through.
“It’s important that people know large animals can be unpredictable and extremely dangerous out of the blue.
“I keep waking up in the middle of the night and all I can see is the horse kicking Dolly.”
She had walked the dogs in the Denton area many times before.
She said: “I have never stopped to feed the horses before with the dogs.
“I gave one horse a carrot and then I went to give one of the others a carrot and the first one came for it and put its side across me.
“I felt threatened and moved back but it stuck right to me.
“I dropped the carrot and Dolly jumped to grab it and the horse started kicking off. She was trying to protect me.
“I was trying to grab Dolly. She had rolled on her side and wasn’t moving.
“Coco was screaming. I have never heard a dog scream before.
“I grabbed them both and got to the fence and lifted them both carefully over.
Then I climbed over the barbed wire fence myself.
“As I carried Dolly back, her eyes were open but she wasn’t blinking. She was still breathing but I really thought she was going to die.
“I didn’t think Coco had been hurt but as we walked I noticed she was carrying one leg and it was obviously broken.”
Vanessa took her beloved dogs straight to the vet but Dolly’s condition deteriorated. X-rays showed she had a broken neck and could not be saved.
Coco had an operation on her leg and is now back at home recovering.
The two dogs were both treated at the PDSA in Patcham. Vanessa had to fundraise to raise enough to pay for treatment and has so far raised £675.
Source: The Argus