British grandmother killed by stray pit bull she had adopted at her Spanish home had been warned by a vet not to take it in as it was dangerous, police reveal
- Anne Shields, 67, died after rescued pit bull Choccy suddenly turned on her
- She died in hospital after having suffered ‘catastrophic’ head and arm injuries
A British gran who was killed by a stray dog she had taken in was warned by a veterinarian not to look after it because it was dangerous, Spanish police have revealed.
Police have confirmed they have identified the owner of the stray canine and are investigating him on suspicion of manslaughter.
Kind-hearted Anne Shields, 67, took the dog in at her Spanish home after finding it starving, but was left with ‘catastrophic’ head and arm injuries after it turned on her four days later.
Police had to shoot the animal to rescue former security guard Anne but she died in hospital.
Today police investigators said in their first official comments that the dog’s owner had been identified despite it having no microchip.
Anne Shields, 67, (pictured) has died after she suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries when the pit bull she had rescued suddenly turned on her
Ms Shields was attacked by the dog, which she called Choccy, at her holiday home in Spain. She had taken him in as a starving stray
They also confirmed he had been banned from owning pit bulls and other dogs classified as ‘potentially dangerous’ in Spain because of previous offences.
He has been described as a 35-year-old Spaniard but has not been named by detectives.
A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Valencia near to Anne’s property in Macastre said: ‘The Civil Guard is investigating the owner of a dog that attacked a woman in Macastre in February who ended up dying as a result of her injuries.
‘The 67-year-old British victim had to be rushed to hospital after officers killed the animal with their weapons so they could assist her due to the animal’s aggressiveness.
‘She died a day after being admitted to hospital because of the wounds to her arms.
‘The victim had found the animal in an acute state of malnutrition and showing clear signs of abandonment, with illnesses like canine scabies, four days before it ended her life.
‘She was warned by the vet that saw the animal that it was dangerous and she shouldn’t take it in but she ignored the warnings.
‘Detectives launched an investigation to identify the dog’s owner after discovering it had no microchip.
‘They took 15 statements from different people and obtained photos showing the animal, which was aged around two, at different stages of its life.
‘The man now under investigation, as well as some of his relatives, recognised the animal when shown the photographs obtained.
‘He is known to police and wasn’t allowed to have these sorts of dogs under current Spanish legislation because of his previous.
‘Officers also discovered he had owned dogs of similar characteristics without the necessary safeguards and care.
‘Detectives carried out an investigation of his home and observed the places where the dog could have escaped, as the suspect himself recognised in his statement.
‘He is a 35-year-old Spaniard who was formally questioned and accused of a crime of manslaughter and another offence against pets because of his abandonment of a dog considered as potentially dangerous.’
A local investigating magistrate has now taken over an ongoing criminal probe into the February 24 incident.
Anne had called the dog Choccy after taking him in. Neighbours raised the alarm after hearing her screaming when she was attacked.
Her daughter Sarah, 43, from Preston, said in the aftermath of her widowed mum’s death: ‘She was an animal lover and couldn’t bear the thought of throwing Choccy back on the streets.
‘Her intention had never been to keep the dog but all the animal shelters were full.
‘She was looking after him until she found someone who could take him.
‘She stuck with him and then this happened. It’s a nightmare.’
Pit bulls are banned in the UK but not in Spain where a license is needed to own one.