ARMED police were called after a Jack Russell terrier was killed and a person was bitten during an alleged violent dog attack close to a Cirencester school.

The Jack Russell’s owner, local vet Rob Darvill, told the Standard that the death of Gypsy, who had been part of the family since they rescued her from a dog’s home four years ago, had left them heartbroken.

The assault, near Kingshill School at 3.30pm last Tuesday, was the second time in a few weeks that a Staffordshire bull terrier had reportedly attacked another dog while off its lead.

In a similar but unrelated incident on Saturday, November 24, a similar dog savaged another Jack Russell at City Bank, as a seven-year-old boy stood just yards away.

Rob said that his mother-in-law Elizabeth Bounds had been walking at the back of Kingshill School when an "uncontrollable" Staffy darted towards her and attacked Gypsy, savaging the terrier and sinking its teeth into her front legs and chest.

As the 64-year-old tried to prise the two dogs apart she was reportedly bitten on her hand and knee by the violent dog.

Rob said that when the bull terrier released its grip, Gypsy fled into a nearby road and was hit by a car. The terrier is believed to have died instantly.

Witnesses said police officers armed with "rifle-type guns" arrived at the site soon after.

Sgt Garret Gloyn, of Cirencester police station, said: "Due to the nature of the call – that it was a Staffy and out of control – we deployed local officers and a dog handler. The first officers on the scene were armed."

He added that he was not aware of any injuries caused to the Staffordshire bull terrier and no one else had been harmed in the attack.

The person in charge of the bull terrier in last week's incident has been interviewed by police and summonsed for potential offences committed under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Investigations are ongoing.

Rob, who works at Benson and Babb veterinary centre in Lewis Lane, said: "We’ve got a young baby and my wife used to walk Gypsy with the baby in a sling. We’re just very relieved that they weren't there."

The 28-year-old added: "Gypsy was so involved in our lives. Every day there’s little things that make me think she should be there. It’s very, very sad."