A young blind man has spoken of his devastation after a group of thugs viciously attacked him with a bat – and stole his beloved pet puppy worth £6,500.
Mohammed Atta, 24, was ambushed by the car ‘full of lads’ while he was walking his dog with a friend in Bradford, West Yorkshire on Monday night.
Mr Atta said his dog was so new that he hadn’t decided on a name but was considering calling her Precious.
He believes his attackers knew that he was visually impaired and targeted him due to the nature of his disability.
The stricken pet lover said when the vehicle pulled up, the gang of men jumped out and used a baseball bat or cricket bat to ‘smack’ him in the leg, causing painful bruises.
Mohammad Atta, pictured with his guide dog Kassie, was taking his new American Bully puppy for a walk when he and his friend were jumped by a gang of thugs
Mr Atta only got his £6,500 dog, provisionally named Precious, pictured, last Friday and was taking her for a walk on Monday when he was attacked
Unfortunately, Mr Atta’s dog had not been microchipped as the appointment was scheduled for today
They then pulled a knife out and showed it to his friend, who was holding the 14-week American Bully – similar to a pit bull terrier – before dragging the dog to their car and escaping.
Mr Atta had only just got his new dog on Friday, April 22 and is desperate to get his ‘baby girl’ back – after hearing her frightened ‘yelps’ as she was taken away.
He said: ‘They knew I was blind. They knew that’s my dog.
‘While they robbed me, they stayed quite. They must have realised I might have recognised their voices if they spoke.’
He added: ‘My whole life and my world revolve around my dogs. I’m devastated. I can’t sleep, my mind is not at rest.’
Mr Atta, who is visually impaired and has a separate guide dog, Kassie, was taking Precious for one of her first walks with him when he was attacked.
He said: ‘My friend came out to walk the puppy with me, and we were going up the street, and a car full of lads pulled up.
‘One just came at me with a baseball bat while my friend was holding the puppy. He then started smacking me in the leg with it.
‘The other attackers then walked round and showed my friend a knife.’
The thugs attacked Mr Atta with a baseball bat before escaping with his dog, pictured
Mr Atta said his friend’s shouts notified him that the men were stealing the pet.
He said: ‘I was very scared when the attack was happening, but then my friend shouted, “They have got the puppy!” I then heard her yelps.
‘Then the lad smacked me one more time with the baseball bat, and they ran around and got back into their car and escaped with the puppy.
Mr Atta said he was ‘hurting’ following the vicious attack and wished that Precious was back with him.
He said: ‘It’s hurting that my dog is not here by my side. This was my own dog, and I just got her on Friday
‘I’ll do anything to get my baby girl home. I’m worried sick. I just can’t believe this has happened to me.’
Mr Atta was left with bruising after he was attacked with a baseball bat in Bradford on Monday
He added: ‘Please, whoever has her just bring her home safe to me’.
Unfortunately, the puppy is not microchipped as the appointment was booked for today, which Mr Atta fears will make it far harder to find her.
The shocking thefts come as new figures reveal dog thefts in the UK have reached a seven-year high, with the equivalent of eight dogs being stolen every single day.
Last year alone 2,760 dogs were snatched from their owners, and the number of heart-breaking thefts has risen 16 per cent since 2015, according to new data.
West Yorkshire Police, which had the second highest number of theft, recorded 199.
The force said in a statement: ‘Police are investigating a robbery which happened on Springfield Avenue, Bradford.
‘Officers were called at 21.59 to reports a man had been attacked while he was out walking his dog. The suspects stole his puppy.
‘It’s believed the suspects left the scene in a Black Audi.’