The owner of a “gentle, family” dog that savaged a police horse in an east London park fears she will be put down as his “pride and joy” remains in police kennels.
Owner Hakan Niyazi, 24, claimed his American Bulldog XL Coco started mauling the police horse because she was “intimidated” after seeing a horse for the first time in Victoria Park.
The horse known as PH Urbane by the force, once pictured with Queen Consort Camilla, needed stitches to his torso and legs but will be back on duty “as soon as he has fully recovered”, police said.
Viral footage, viewed hundreds of thousands of times on TikTok, appears to show the mounted officers scream “can someone get hold of the dog, for f***s sake” and “hit it”.
The police horse stumbles and kicks out at the canine as a passer-by hits it with a large stick.
Mr Niyazi told MailOnline: “My dog has believed the horse is trying to attack it and as a defence mechanism has kind of tried to stick up for itself.
“Because it’s a police horse it has become over-exaggerated.
“The dog has been seized by the police. They are probably going to have it put down.”
His brother, who declined to be named, described the attack as an “unfortunate set of circumstances” adding: “It’s a family pet. The dog is young - it is barely a year old. It is basically in training. It is by no means vicious to kids or other pets.
“He has taken it to a public place to walk it and do a bit of training.
“It is the first occasion of meeting a horse. It has approached the horse and the horse has got skittish and something has happened and as a result of it the dog has been seized.”
He added: “My brother has got a two-year-old and it’s never been a problem. The dog licks their face and everything.”
College student Hakan told The Sun: “It might look like I wasn’t doing much but I was trying my hardest. I tried to grab her.
“She was intimidated by the horse. She felt threatened.
“I thought the horse was going to kick me. If it kicks me I’m dead. If it killed me then people would be feeling sorry for me.”
He insisted he wanted to go to court to get his “pride and joy” Coco back to him but admitted: “Next time I know not to take my dog off a lead.”
PH Urbane from Bow was attacked by a dog off the lead in #VictoriaPark Yesterday. We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep dogs on a lead if you can’t recall them or get them under control. Huge thanks to members of public who tried to help Urbane. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/X8CiNEqRWc— Met Police Taskforce (@MetTaskforce) March 23, 2023
A Met Police Taskforce spokesperson on Thursday tweeted: “We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep dogs on a lead if you can’t recall them or get them under control. Huge thanks to members of public who tried to help Urbane.
“He has been to the vets and is having some well-earned recuperation. He will hopefully be back on duty as soon as he has fully recovered but not before.”
A Met spokeswoman said: “On Wednesday, 22 March a dog was seized in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, after it attacked a police horse.
“The horse required stitches and is expected to return to duty following its recovery.
“The dog remains in police kennels and officers are in contact with its owner
“No arrests have been made.