THE teenage owner of a dog which savaged a 66-year-old man has pleaded for her dog back.
The Staffordshire bull terrier was stolen by intruders, who raided Marina Kennels off Leeds Road, Huddersfield, in the early hours of Sunday, December 4.
This was just hours after the three-year-old dog called Soldier had attacked the man in Almondbury.
Soldier's owner, 17-year-old Laura Liversidge, said he attacked only because the man had walked through the door leading to her upstairs flat on Eastlands after mistaking it for a friend's home at 4.40pm on Saturday, December 3.
She said she had tried to pull the dog off the man and managed to get the collar on him in the garden, but he had been too strong for her.
The attack started in the garden and Soldier then chased the man into the car park of the nearby Homestead residential care home at Hurst Knowle where it got hold of him again and caused serious injuries.
Laura said she got the harness on Soldier there.
When police arrived they beat the dog with batons to get it away from the victim.
Laura admitted the dog mauled the man so badly she was physically sick at the sight.
He was bitten on his face, neck, arms, legs and body as he tried in vain to fend the bull terrier off.
He was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and then transferred to Bradford Royal Infirmary for specialist plastic surgery.
The victim's clothes were left in tattered rags.
But Laura says she wants Soldier back and has no idea who stole him from Marina Kennels or why.
She said that after the man was attacked in the garden there was a chance for him to escape.
Laura said: "I told the man to be quiet and just walk away."
But moments later the dog broke free from her grasp as she tried to put a collar and harness on him and chased the man into the nursing home car park.
Laura said her boyfriend, 23-year-old Matthew Jobarteh, had bought her Soldier as a present.
She said: "He's a soft, family dog and has never bitten anyone before.
"He's fine with people and when visitors come he gives them his paw. He likes to be stroked and played with and is great with my four-year-old niece."
Laura - who has a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy called Drama - said Soldier attacked the man because he must have felt threatened when the man walked into the flat.
She added: "Matthew and I have no idea who took Soldier from the kennels or why. I just want my dog back."
She said police had given her the option to agree for Soldier be put down, but she rejected that and wanted the dog back as a pet again.
Anyone with information about where Soldier is should contact Huddersfield police helpdesk on 01484 436659.