Fox mauls chihuahua in vicious West Hampstead garden attack

A retired teacher has described her horror at witnessing a fox savagely attacking her beloved Chihuahua puppies, and is worried that the next victim could be a child.

Julia Hsiung was in her West Hampstead garden on Saturday night when she heard one of her puppies squealing in agony, while the other was barking hysterically.

She went to investigate – and to her horror saw that a large fox was carrying Arabella, her five-month-old puppy in its mouth, while her other puppy, six-month-old Alfredo, was yapping at its heels.

Alfredo bit the fox on the leg and it dropped Arabella, before chasing him around the garden.

Terrified, Mrs Hsiung, who is 60, grabbed a garden fork and ran at the fox, but it fled only when she went to strike it.

“The fox was quite big, almost the size of an Alsatian,” Mrs Hsiung said.

“Arabella was yelping and in agony. She was covered in slime and gooey stuff. I washed her and found she was bleeding badly.”

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Mrs Hsiung, of Aberdare Gardens, took Arabella to an out-of-hours vet in Hendon, where she was operated on to prevent her wounds from becoming infected.

She was in veterinary intensive care until Tuesday, costing Mrs Hsiung and her husband �2,200 in medical fees.

But Mrs Hsiung is most concerned at the fox’s fearlessness and the ferocity of the attack.

It has left Alfredo withdrawn and afraid to go into the garden. Her husband, the celebrated food writer Deh-Ta Hsiung, is also wary of going into the garden alone.

Mr Hsiung suffered a stroke two years ago and is paralysed in one arm. He is worried that if the fox returned, he would be unable to defend himself or the dogs.

Mrs Hsiung rang Camden Council for pest control but was told that the council no longer deals with foxes.

She said: “The council should do something to keep foxes out of built up areas. A few cats have also been attacked in the area recently. Next time it could attack a child.”

A spokesman for Camden Council said: “We are sorry to hear about this distressing attack on Mrs Hsiung’s pets. Incidents like this are rare.”

He added that the council’s pest control team provides advice on how foxes can be deterred or directs residents to the Fox Project, a charity. But to eradicate foxes residents should contact a private pest control company.