A 'PITBULL' which was being walked by three teenage girls broke lose and savaged a puppy to death on Christmas Eve.

Teddy, a Pomeranian, suffered a broken back in the attack in Bournemouth. The pup's owners Simon and Maxine Woodcock, who run the Bunkhouse Hotel in St Michael's Road, say they are "devastated" and fear the dog could hurt a child.

Mr Woodcock said: "We'd taken the puppy for a walk already and arrived back home at about 1pm.

"A little while later, my daughter said she was walking into Bournemouth to see her work friends before Christmas. She took Teddy along with her.

"About five minutes later, she called me in tears. She said they'd been attacked in St Michael's Road and Teddy was badly hurt.

"I sprinted down to get them and I saw Teddy was in a real state and couldn't move. My daughter was cradling him.

"We got him to the vet but there was nothing they could do for him."

Mr Woodcock said a pitbull-type dog is responsible for the attack.

"I'd seen three teenage girls with a massive pitbull in St Michael's Road that day," he said.

"It was tall and white and had pointed ears, as if they'd been trimmed.

"I'd actually said, 'There's no way they should be out with that, they can't control it.' You could see it pulling on the lead.

"When my daughter went out with Teddy, the girls were with the dog some way ahead. When it spotted Teddy it just went for him and they couldn't control it.

"My daughter was trying to pull it off the puppy but it had its teeth in him and it was shaking him.

"It snapped Teddy's back."

He said the attack was sustained, lasting for as long as three minutes.

"My wife is completely devastated. We all are," he said.

Police have been informed. However, such incidents are usually left to dog wardens. Mr and Mrs Woodcock are awaiting a call from Bournemouth's dog warden.

"My daughter has put out some information on social media, and we've had a big response from that," Mr Woodcock said.

"Lots of people say the owner has a couple of pitbulls and is often seen outside the little shop near here.

"At the moment though, it seems like there's nothing we can do about these dogs."

Anyone with information on the dog is urged to contact Bournemouth council's dog warden via bournemouth.gov.uk/Report