A woman is seeking to find the owner of a dog whose attack "left a deep gash" wound in her rescue dog's side in a Merseyside park.

On Friday, May 14, Rachel Coakley, 31 and her boyfriend were walking six-year-old greyhound Shadow in Taylor Park in St Helens when another dog, described as a "large grey short haired breed," collided with the retired ex-racer.

Rachel said she had let rescue dog Shadow off the lead to play when she heard him "screech" and another dog owner recall her pet.

Rachel said the owner of the other dog "was very apologetic and courteous" and wanted to make sure Shadow was ok.

But that it wasn't till minutes later when Shadow kept trying to reach round to his side that Rachel discovered a "deep gash" underneath his harness.

Shadow has since undergone an operation for the injury and Rachel said she wants to find the owner to warn them and prevent another incident from taking place.

Rachel told the ECHO: "We were passing through a grassy area towards the back of the park. Around 10ft away there were two women sat with two dogs.

"One of the dogs was a large grey short haired breed similar to a weimaraner and I think this is the dog that attacked Shadow.

"Shadow was off the lead. I let him off on grassy areas because I know he is not aggressive, I keep him on the lead on paths. As we were passing by the large grey dog bolted up and slammed into Shadow.

"Shadow screeched and ran to the path and then stopped. I ran to him whilst the other dogs owner was recalling her dog.

"Shadow was whimpering and shaking but I couldn't see any blood and he was walking ok.

"The owner of the dog that attacked came over to me and was very apologetic and courteous and wanted to make sure Shadow was ok. She told me that her dog is always running and charging at other dogs.

"It was only ten minutes later I noticed Shadow kept trying to reach round to his side. I moved his harness aside and found a deep gash. It was hidden by his harness so I didn't spot it earlier.

"I immediately called our local vet which thankfully is only a short walk away from the park and they saw him as an emergency case."

Shadow, a six year old Greyhound and retired ex-racer/rescue, underwent an operation after he was attacked by another dog in Taylor Park, St Helens
Shadow had to undergo an operation at the vet to make sure his injuries weren't more serious

Rachel said the vet operated on him straight away and put him under general anaesthetic as they couldn't tell how deep the bite was and they needed to check it had not punctured his chest cavity. She said t hankfully it hadn't, but the bite was quite deep.

She said her boyfriend returned to the park to look for the other owner, but she must have by that point left and the couple, who are insured, had to pay £700 for the operation and medication and a £99 excess fee.

The other owner didn't know any damage had been done at the time.

Rachel has since shared the story on social media and said she doesn't want it to "turn into a witch hunt," but raise awareness and encourage owners to keep their dogs on leads if they react aggressively to other dogs.

She said: "I was horrified, panicked and so angry and upset. My first reaction was panic and worry that Shadow was so hurt. I was annoyed at myself for not checking him owner more thoroughly when I was with the other dogs owner and that I hadn't got her contact details.

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"I just want the message to be shared that if you can't control your dog and you know how reactive and aggressive they can be, then keep them on a lead to keep other dogs safe

"I don't know if this woman will come forward but if she is a responsible dog owner I hope she will. She needs to understand that if she knows her dog has aggressive tendencies and charges at other dogs then it must be kept on a lead.

"I'm worried that this incident will set Shadow's confidence back to zero and we worked so hard to bring him out of his shell after we rescued him."

Shadow, a six year old Greyhound and retired ex-racer/rescue, underwent an operation after he was attacked by another dog in Taylor Park, St Helens
Rachel said she's worried that the incident will set Shadow's confidence "back to zero"

Rachel has since reported the incident to Merseyside Police and said she'd like to speak to the owner to "explain what her dog has done and the damage it has caused."

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Rachel said: "As a pet Shadow is, like all greyhounds, sweet, gentle and loyal. He's lazy and goofy. Greyhounds have brilliant temperaments which is one of the reasons we wanted to adopt one.

"Shadow is doing ok, he is on pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection and he has an appointment tomorrow with the vet to check the wound. He is being a real trooper, he's so brave and I'm so proud of him."