Retired vet found dead after attack by seven dogs

Antony Harrington, a locomotive enthusiast, was found dead in his garden
Antony Harrington, a locomotive enthusiast, was found dead in his garden - SOCIAL MEDIA

A retired vet was found dead in his garden after being attacked by seven dogs.

Antony Harrington was killed by the animals at his home in Little Packington, Warwickshire, on Nov 25 last year.

Police were called to reports of a man in his 70s suffering a cardiac arrest at 6.04pm, with officers declaring him dead at the scene. Warwickshire Police found bite marks to be the cause of his death.

All seven, including several large Bernese mountain dogs, were seized and a 75-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of owning a dangerously out-of-control dog. She has since been bailed while an investigation is carried out.

A Bernese mountain dog
Several large Bernese mountain dogs were seized after the attack - Kim Dubois/500px

It is claimed that Mr Harrington’s clothes had been ripped from his body and scattered around his garden during the attack.

A source told The Sun: “His family are distraught and hope the investigation can help them understand what happened.”

The National Traction Engine Trust paid tribute to the father of three, who was a locomotive enthusiast according to his social media.

It said in a Facebook post: “We were saddened to hear of the death of Tony Harrington last November.

“The circumstances surrounding his death are still part of a police investigation.”

Mr Harrington bought The Lodge Veterinary Centre with his wife Lousie Harrington in 1990.

In 1988 they added the practice’s Coleshill branch to the existing Hodge Hill site.

Both he and his wife were fully retired from the practice when he died.

The Lodge Veterinary Centre was contacted for comment.

‘Bite injuries’

A Warwickshire Police spokesman said: “At 6.04pm on 25 November 2023, paramedics contacted police to inform them of a man in cardiac arrest at a house in Packington Lane, Meriden.

“The man in his 70s was declared dead at the scene. He had suffered bite injuries, which were found to be the cause of death.

“Inquiries are ongoing. Seven dogs were seized at the scene and a 75-year-old woman from the Coleshill area was arrested on suspicion of owning a dog dangerously out of control.

“She has since been bailed while inquiries continue.”

It was revealed last month that dog attacks in the UK have shot up by a fifth in a year with police recording more than 80 incidents a day.

There were 30,539 instances of a dog injuring a person in 2023, up from 25,291 in 2022.

Following the surge in dog attacks, the Government took the decision to ban XL Bullies from February.

The breed was added to the list of dangerous dogs on Feb 1 following at least six fatal attacks in 2023.

It is now illegal to breed, sell, rehome, advertise or abandon XL bullies in the UK.

Last month the organisers of Crufts, the world’s biggest dog show, claimed the law as it now stands does not stop the breeding of XL bullies or prevent attacks.

Dr Ed Hayes, the head of public affairs at The Kennel Club, said the legislation will fail because of its loopholes.

He said: “We are going to continue to have a supply of dogs that grow into XL bullies as years go by. There will be a huge number of XL bullies going through the court process forever more because they’ll continue to be produced by mating two legal dogs together.”

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