A loving family pet was savaged by a dog on August 18 and later put to sleep.

A white pit bull terrier attacked the cat, Esme, and broke her neck in Albemarle Gardens, New Malden, and the cat’s injuries were too severe for it to survive.

Owner Jason Major said he saw the owner and dog leave the scene at speed.

He said: “This was an unprovoked attack on my cat. I found it cowardly that he ran, and in the future he should at least muzzle his dog which systematically walked in and killed my cat.”

Mr Major, who owns a decorating business, said he had seen Esme asleep on the front doormat before heading indoors, and then suddenly heard noises.

He said: “What we are worried about is that it will do it again to a small dog or a small child and therefore people should be warned.”

Members of the family, who have lived in the area for 12 years, believe they have seen the pitbull in the park on numerous occasions when walking their dog.

Neighbours have also reported seeing the animal being walked in the area.

The family is seeking redress for the incident, but do not wish the dog to be put to sleep, simply controlled.

Michelle Major said: “It is a dangerous animal and I think it should be muzzled.

"We had her for 15 years, she had a good quality of life. It’s sad and we all miss her. ”