A DISTRAUGHT grandmother has spoken of her shock after her family pet was attacked and fatally savaged by a raging dog.
Catherine Collins says the loss of 17-year-old Tammy the cat has left her "numb".
The much-loved cat was in a neighbour's garden on Mayfield Avenue in Dalton on Thursday afternoon.
A Staffordshire bull terrier being walked by its owner along the same street saw the cat and went for it.
The out-of-control dog got the cat in its jaws and began a frenzied attack.
A passing milkman saw the horrific spectacle and had to beat the dog until it released its vice-like grip on the stricken feline.
The neighbour heard the noise and ran out - spotting the fatally wounded cat.
He tended to the cat, which was so seriously injured it died 20 minutes later.
The dog's owner stayed around for the aftermath of the attack, gave an address and walked away with his pet.
Mrs Collins, 53, returned home just after the attack and saw police officers outside her home.
She said: "I was very worried. I thought it was one of my children."
Mrs Collins, who lives at the house with husband Anthony, said her neighbour had covered the cat's corpse but showed it to her.
She added: "I am just numb.
"We got Tammy from the RSPCA 17 years ago.
"She was like a member of the family.
"One of my grandchildren is 16. All through her life Tammy had been there as a family pet."
A police spokesman confirmed officers had attended the scene and are investigating the complaints.