THE owners of a puppy mauled in a bloody attack by a French Mastiff have called for all dogs to be chipped and registered.

Nine-month-old Scooby, a Parson Jack Russell Terrier, was bitten by the "frenzied" dog at around 7pm on Monday in Fir and Pond Woods, Potters Bar.

He was being walked by his owner, Ian Turner, when he encountered the muzzled Mastiff, along with a Rottweiler and another unknown breed, all off their leashes.

According to Mr Turner, the Rottweiler and Mastiff immediately launched "a full scale and totally unprovoked attack" on the puppy.

The Mastiff slipped its muzzle, bit Scooby and shook him "like a rag doll" for nearly a minute, he said.

"Two adult men were unable to release this puppy from the jaws of this frenzied animal, and I dread to think what may have happened if my young children had been with me," Mr Turner, 44, added.

"The attack resulted in a severly traumatised puppy with deep lacerations and bite wounds to the back and side."

Because Scooby ran off directly after the attack, Mr Turner was unable to get the owners' details and is hoping others may be able to help.

But he feared the couple would not be caught as the "police did not seem particularly interested", and called for greater controls on dog ownership.

"I think all dogs should be chipped and registered as a matter of course," he said. "This may help police to track them down.

"Otherwise it could take a child being mauled before anything is done."

Mr Turner's wife, Kim, 43, agreed. She said: "When my husband brought Scooby back he was completely ashen. He couldn't believe it.

"Scooby was screaming and screaming. He was bloody and swollen up. The injuries were so bad we think the owner had to literally rip his dog off him to get him to stop.

"My eight-year-old daughter was hysterical when she saw him. Can you imagine if she'd been there at the time?

"It's absolutely disgusting they would let him off the leash like that, without a proper muzzle."

She added: "All dogs should be electronically chipped, then at least owners would have a degree of culpability.

"This was a very rare combination of dogs, so if they were registered the owners should be easy to track down."

Currently, the police deal with all dog attacks on people, whereas the RSPCA takes responsibility for offences concerned with dog welfare.

The RSPCA strongly advocates chipping and registration for all dogs, and urges local authorities to establish dog warden services to assist with regulation and law enforcement.

Jan Eachus, dangerous dog project officer at the RSPCA, said: "Currently the only way to force owners to chip and register their dogs is via the conditions of court under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act or the 1871 Dogs Act," he said.

"Alternatively, the police can draw up an acceptable behaviour contract for owners for lesser offences, which may include muzzling, chipping etc."

Both Hertsmere Borough Council and Barnet Council have dog warden services, which have the same powers as the police, except those of arrest.

But Mr Eachus said more local authorities needed to follow suit.

"Authorities have the power to appoint someone to enforce legislation and help with prevention, education and control," he said.

"In North America this is widespread, but it is really the missing link over here."

Anyone with information about this attack is asked to contact Herts police on 0845 3300 222, quoting reference 172/10/August.

Anyone with information about dog attacks in Barnet should call 0300 123 1212.