A DOG barged into a Highworth home and savagely killed the family’s dog before owner Julie Davies’s eyes, 10 minutes before her granddaughter arrived.

Julie said a far more serious tragedy could have taken place if her nine-month-old granddaughter had turned up with her mum any earlier.

The vicious canine, thought to be a Rottweiler Bullmastiff cross, entered the first floor flat in Cherry Orchard via external stairs which led to a kitchen door, left open while Julie cooked dinner shortly after 8pm on Tuesday.

The door was flung open by the dog, which has now been destroyed by its owners, and left Julie rooted to the spot in fear.

“It was just fear,” the 55-year-old said.

“You knew straight away. I froze in fear because you could just see his whole behaviour and his head was going from side to side.

“My little dog ran from the living room just because he heard the door bang. He was under the kitchen table and this dog just lunged.

“He threw himself at my dog. I knew within seconds our dog was dead. It was absolutely horrendous.”

The victim, called Pepe – a Yorkshire Terrier Maltese cross – had been with the family for more than six years.

Missy, Julie’s other dog, had been kept back from the attack and shut away before she could be harmed.

And Julie said Missy has not been the same in the hours after the incident.

Moments after the attack, Julie’s partner, 40-year-old Swithin Cardoso, who is 6ft 5ins tall, grappled with the attacking dog.

During the struggle, the dog was forced out of the flat, but continued to circle in the car park below until a neighbour and Swithin had it tied up, waiting for police.

Marie Burns, 33, Julie’s daughter and mother to grandchild Mia, said: “The owner of the dog arrived 15 minutes later, before the police. He didn’t care or show any remorse. He just said it was his girlfriend’s dog and it had nothing to do with him.

“When we told him our dog had been killed, all he could say was ‘it’s only a dog’.

“He just kept saying it’s not his problem.”

Police were unable to take any action.

Julie said: “It infuriates me because if it had been 10 minutes later my granddaughter would have been here, crawling around.

“It doesn’t even bear thinking about.”

A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Police officers have no power to seize dogs unless they witness an attack themselves or if the animal is a banned breed.

“The owners of the dog involved have taken the decision to put the animal down.

“The investigation is continuing to ascertain the circumstances around the incident and any witnesses should contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, where information can be left anonymously.”