A BLACKHEATH doctor has turned detective to track down the boys whose vicious dog tore the family cat to pieces - because police cannot help.

Mike Jones returned home to Blackheath Rise on September 1 with his wife and two young daughters to discover their black cat Jessie was missing.

After putting up posters around the area, the family were contacted by a neighbour, who broke the news Jessie had been killed in a sickening attack.

Mr Jones said: "Two young  male children aged about 14 and nine were walking up the hill with a large black and brown coloured dog on a lead.

"On seeing our cat they released the dog and encouraged it to attack it."

The 51-year-old consultant gynaecologist said: "He was literally torn to pieces.

"Once the cat was left for dead they put the dog back on the lead and casually walked up the hill."

He managed to discover the whereabouts of the dog - which he believes is a Staffordshire bull terrier crossbreed - after local children claimed they too had been threatened by it and another cat had been killed.

But despite incredible help from the community, RSPCA and council, Mr Jones has been disappointed by the police, who say they cannot seize the dog or make an arrest - leaving the animal free to cause further bloodshed.

He said: "Unfortunately the Lewisham police officers who kindly interviewed me were unable to take our case further on the grounds the younger child was only nine years of age.

"I have since made an appeal for the case to be re-opened in light of all the new evidence my family has gathered.

"The nature of the injuries sustained by our cat can only be described as horrific."

Mr Jones, whose family have been left "devastated", added: "The dog poses a risk to a small child who could be very seriously or fatally injured.

"I want it removed from our residential area permanently. I don't care what happens to the owners.

"I can't contemplate having any more pets without the fear of them being brutally murdered."

A Lewisham Police spokeswoman said: "Enquires established the neighbour heard suspects encouraging a dog to attack the cat but did not actually witness the incident

"This led officers to an address where they believed the suspects resided.

"There was a dog at the location but the dog was not an illegal breed and therefore not seized

"The owner of the cat was informed that as police were unable to pursue criminal offences under the dangerous dogs act legislation contact should be made with the RSPCA."

Status dogs

Owners of vicious 'status' dogs often set them upon smaller animals to make them more aggressive.

According to extensive research released earlier this year by Middlesex University criminologist Simon Harding, young men "select aggressive bull breeds because of their reputational branding such as loyalty, strength and ability to mould the dog’s personality.

"The young men are often unemployed with few qualifications and they see the dogs as giving them the status they feel otherwise unable to achieve."

He said: "Having an aggressive dog enhances their status by association and being in control of a status dog indicates you are in control of unleashing potential violence. 

Dogs can also be used to control public space and to resolve disputes for respect as a form of ‘street-jousting’."