A HEARTBROKEN dog owner has paid tribute to his kind-hearted community for their support after his 14-year-old Jack Russell was snatched and fatally mauled by another dog earlier this month.
Thurnscoe resident Frank Goldthorpe, 73, said he couldn’t be more proud of his local area. On January 5, Frank was walking his dog, Ellie, who he describes as ‘his best friend’ around Thurnscoe when she was bitten by another dog – which has since been seized by police officers – and taken to a nearby garden where she was found dead.
It left Frank heartbroken – but he’s praised the work of police who quickly seized the vicious dog and managed to get the situation under control.
“I was taking her out on a walk as usual, going up Merrill Road and I was half way up but there were some cars parked up. A dog just came round the back of her, grabbed her on the ribs and killed her.
“I heard every bone in her body snap. It picked her up and wouldn’t let go – it run off with her in its mouth. One of my friends realised it was my dog, she picked Ellie up and put a blanket over her.
“The police had boxed the dog in a garden, they were absolutely brilliant. Within four or five minutes there were a number of police cars, armed response and a big van.
“I picked Ellie up and took her back home – that was it, she’d gone.”
He admits that he’ll never be able to replace his ‘best friend’.
“I just love my dogs,” he said.
“Ellie was 14 and I had her for almost all of that time. She used to come to work with me. She was the best friend I’ve ever had in my life.”
Frank, who has lived in Thurnscoe all of his life, said the community spirit shown to him has been overwhelming.
“I think I’m the only Goldthorpe living in Thurnscoe,” he said.
“I’ve lived here all my life. The community have been absolutely brilliant with me.
“Shopkeepers and this, that and the other – they’ve all been great.
“People have been magnificent, I’ve had cards from people and everyone has been offering their condolences. It’s overwhelming.”
Thurnscoe residents banded together and offered their support – with the local working men’s club, The Ship, starting a collection for Frank.
He’s now been able to find his new companion, another Jack Russell called Loki, who Frank says has been a delight so far.
“It was those at The Ship who took me to Chesterfield to get Loki,” he added. "The community are so close together. I want to say a special thanks to Aiden Sidwell, the steward of The Ship, his wife Addelle, who is the stewardess, and all the staff and customers.
“I talk to dogs like humans. I’ve had dogs in the family all my life. They’re better than people all the time, never mind sometimes.”
Addelle said: “He’s a lovely man loved by the community – Ellie was his world and what happened broke his heart. All his friends were happy to help and it’s nice to see that he has happiness back with his new companion.”