A dog owner has been left devastated after a horse fatally injured one of her dogs and left another fighting for its life.
Vanessa Newman, of Denton, is now trying to raise vital funds for veterinary treatment.
The 51-year-old was walking her two grey miniature schnauzers, Dolly and Coco, through the fields at the top of Denton Corner on Thursday afternoon (January 18) when the tragedy happened.
Mrs Newman said: “We had stopped to feed the horses a few carrots, but a large white horse became very aggressive.
“He wanted all of the food for himself I think. He tried to separate me from the other three horses in the field.
“He was leaning and pushing against me. My dogs are protective of me and were just trying to look after me. The horse began kicking and trampled over Dolly. I thought she was going to die.”
The self-employed hairdresser and seamstress carried her barely-breathing dog home, while Coco, who had also got caught up in the exchange, trailed behind dragging her broken leg.
The uninsured dogs were assessed by the Brighton PDSA Pet Hospital where it was discovered that Dolly had suffered a broken neck and had to be put to sleep.
Coco has undergone complicated surgery to save the leg. Mrs Newman fears this treatment could amount to hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
The dog lover said: “I do 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.”
PDSA vet nurse Katy Orton had advice for dog owners. She said: “If you do unexpectedly come across a horse when out walking, keep your dog on a short lead, move well out of the way and stay still until they have passed.”
So far £535 has been raised to pay for the medical treatment Dolly received and the ongoing care Coco needs. Details of the crowd-funding page can be found at https://chuffed.org/project/dollytheminiatureschnauzerneedsanop