A schoolgirl thought she was “going to die” when she was mauled by a huge Tibetan mastiff known as 'Teddy'.

Sarah McCormack fought for her life as she was attacked by the 14-stone beast in Edinburgh in March last year.

The teenager was only saved by her backpack which she used as a shield, reports the Daily Record.

The onslaught ended when pedestrians and motorists intervened and dragged Teddy to the other side of the road.

Teddy's owner, 31-year-old businesswoman Cher Hardy, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week and wept as a judge ordered that the dog be destroyed.


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It emerged that the animal had previously attacked a pensioner and a mum.

Sarah described being attacked by the mastiff – originally bred to protect livestock from wolves and bears.

The 17-year-old from Livingston said: “It was terrifying – I thought it was going to take chunks out my face.

“The teeth, the snarl, the weight on my chest. I genuinely thought I was going to die.”


The S6 pupil – who is represented by Digby Brown Solicitors in a civil action – was waiting for a bus on Murrayfield Road after basketball training when the incident occurred.

Sarah noticed a woman who was with Teddy had dropped her phone and tried to return it to her.

But as she did, the animal attacked.

The teen said: “The woman kept shouting at me to be still and shouted at me to stop panicking.


“But I had this huge bear-like thing on me biting at my face and arms and legs – what was I supposed to do? She had no control or influence over this animal at all and she just stood there.

“I managed to swivel my rucksack round and use it like a shield but by that point I’d been bitten and had my clothes torn.”

Teddy had been prowling the street after escaping Hardy’s home while she was at work.

Hardy arrived at the scene in her BMW after being told of the attack by her housekeeper – who appears to have been the woman who dropped her phone.

She spoke briefly to Sarah, put Teddy in the car then drove off.

Sarah was treated for her injuries at St John’s Hospital, Livingston.

The court heard that in May, Teddy launched an attack on mum Fiona McHale, 53, who suffered permanent scarring.

In October, Teddy knocked Jane Humphreys, 73, to the ground before biting her.

Hardy was admonished on the three charges but was left distraught by the decision to destroy her dog.

Digby Brown partner Simon Hammond said: “If an animal has bitten someone then its owner is strictly liable unless the animal was acting in self-defence or goaded into attacking.”

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