Family release statement and image of ‘heroic’ dog attack victim
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A pensioner who was brutally attacked by two dogs has praised the emergency services who helped to save his life.
Vic Franklin, 77, sustained life-changing injuries following the incident in Bognor Regis, where he lives, on the morning of 18 August.
And now, as he continues his recovery in hospital after multiple surgeries, he has expressed his gratitude to those who came to his aid.
“Simply put, I wouldn’t be here without the assistance of our emergency service workers,” he said. “From the first responders including police and paramedics, to the air ambulance crew and the selfless staff at Royal Sussex County Hospital, I am eternally grateful.”
After receiving a number of 999 calls from concerned members of public, specialist firearms officers were swiftly deployed to the scene in Lewes Close and granted authority to bring the dogs safely under control. Firearms were discharged and both dogs were confirmed deceased.
Vic’s son Lee – speaking on behalf of the family – has heaped praise on his father for his heroics.
He said: “We were completely devastated when we heard what happened. It sent shockwaves through the family because dad has been the glue that holds us all together.
“Our main concern was not only the preservation of his life, but also the quality of his life. We realised we didn’t have a choice and after having his left leg, right arm and left middle finger amputated, we feared the worst.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen. But with dad in recovery now, everyone who sees him says how much of an inspiration he is. He’s still dad, and he still manages to make everyone laugh.
“The first thing he said when he woke up from surgery was “Everyone is safe now” after hearing the news about the attack. His first thought was to ensure everyone was safe and that the dogs could do no further harm. As far as we’re concerned he’s our hero.”
The dogs’ owners were identified and a 29-year-old man from Bognor Regis, arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, remains on conditional bail until 16 November, pending further enquiries.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with any information about the incident is asked to report it online or call 101, quoting Op Byfleet.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report it online.