A devastated couple have spoken out after their beloved dog was mauled to death in York.

Nigel Marshall was walking his dog Millie on Sunday (November 19) in Clifton Backies at around 5pm as it had started to get dark.

The 65-year-old said he was walking along a field in the nature reserve near Wigginton Road when two dark coloured Doberman-type dogs “came out of nowhere” and attacked Millie.

“I was trying to get the dogs off, but I just couldn’t seem to do anything,” he told The Press.

Nigel claimed the owner of the two large dogs appeared to show little concern about the attack.

York Press: Millie was nine years old when she was killedMillie was nine years old when she was killed (Image: Supplied)

After the incident, Nigel carried wounded Millie to his partner, Sabine Beulke, who was parked off Water Lane.

The couple have owned the rescued nine-year-old Shih Tzu Cocker Spaniel cross since 2016 when she was 18 months old.

Despite Millie being left with bad flesh wounds after the attack, her owners held on to the hope that she would be back home after a check over by vets.

But this wasn’t the case.

“We didn’t realise how badly she was hurt,” Nigel said.

He and Sabine rushed Millie to Minster Vets in Salisbury Road.

Nigel said the vets told them Millie’s inside were “smashed up” after the attack.

“There was nothing they could do,” he added.

The vets tried operating on Millie but Nigel said it was “hopeless”.

Despite their best efforts, the vets were unable to save her.  

“I’m devastated, I loved that dog,” Sabine told The Press.

“I thought she was going to live.”

York Press: Vets tried to save Millie but she lost her life after the attack Vets tried to save Millie but she lost her life after the attack (Image: Supplied)

The 58-year-old works as an environmental consultant for a company in Newcastle and said she plans to retire in the New Year.

“I was looking forward to walking (Millie) and spending more time with her, but her life has been cut short,” Sabine explained, her voice cracking.

“I’m really upset about it.”

Couple urge dog walkers to take care

The couple, who live off Water Lane, urged other dog walkers to take care when walking dogs in Clifton Backies.

“I’d like other owners to be aware, consider the risks and hopefully protect their dogs if they can,” Sabine said.

“It’s important to be aware of the risks.”

She recommended other dog owners avoid walking their animals in the dark, so they are aware of their surroundings.

Nigel and Sabine thanked the vets and local neighbourhood for the help and support they have received. 

The attack was reported to North Yorkshire Police.

A force spokesperson said the dogs were reported as “large brown dogs” but no description of their owner was provided.

“It is not believed there were any witnesses but if you did witness the incident, please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting reference 12230220905,” they said.

“No arrests have been made.”