Friend of woman killed by pack of dogs in Surrey said she ‘loved animals and they loved her’
‘She loved animals and dogs loved her’: Friend of woman mauled to death by pack of animals she was walking reveals 28-year-old ‘owned a golden doodle or a labradoodle, a Staffy and had taken in a rescue dog’
- Natasha Johnston died after attack at Gravelly Hill, Caterham, Surrey
- Friend pays tribute to funny, sporty, ordinary person who had life ahead of her
The friend of a young woman mauled to death by eight dogs she was walking told how she lived her life ‘loving animals’ and said ‘dogs loved her’ as she paid tribute.
Natasha Johnston, 28, died after a frenzied attack at the Gravelly Hill beauty spot in Caterham, Surrey, on January 12. An inquest heard yesterday she died by ‘multiple penetrating dog bites to the neck’.
The friend, who did not wish to be named, said Ms Johnston had walked dogs for about five years, working hard to train them. They said she had owned a golden doodle or a labradoodle, previously owned a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and, as far as they understood, had taken in a rescue dog.
Speaking to the Telegraph, she described the victim as a sporty, funny, ordinary person who was quietly confident and had her whole life ahead of her.
Police at Gravelly Hill in Caterham, Surrey, where the dog attacked occurred last month
Shiva, an 11-st Leonburger, was among eight dogs with the victim – and was a troublesome puppy who chewed anything she could get her paws on
‘She’s not a person who would rip people off or do awful things, she was a person living a straightforward life, living with her dad, driving a beat-up car, walking dogs and loving animals,’ she told the newspaper.
‘She was funny, she was a dry person that didn’t have a lot to prove – like a lot of people want to prove that they’re funny or love sport or whatever – she wasn’t like that, more of a stoic person who was just focused on managing her day and dog walking.
‘My dog loved her, dogs loved her and she was very on it if a dog was misbehaving – she was absolutely straight on it and very focused.’
Eight dogs were seized at the scene although police confirmed last week that there would be no individual prosecutions
The friend said they had been in shock since Ms Johnston’s name was released and never thought it would be someone they knew.
They said they had walked dogs with the victim before – and had also paid her to walk their dogs.
The friend said at one point they walked dogs together daily and that Ms Johnston was a professional with the animals.
They described Ms Johnston as tall with lovely blonde hair she would sometimes dye in pastel shades.
Eight dogs were seized at the scene although police confirmed last week that there would be no individual prosecutions.
Forensic tests are underway to determine which of the dogs were involved in the attack.
Another woman was hospitalised and eight dogs were recovered at the scene after police responded following the attack at 2.45pm on January 12
At the opening of an inquest into her death, coroner Simon Wickens expressed his ‘sincere condolences’ to Ms Johnston’s family ‘and all those touched by her life’.
The coroner said on Tuesday: ‘A post-mortem examination was carried out at Royal Surrey County Hospital on January 18.
‘The medical cause of death (was) given as 1a) shock and haemorrhage including perforation of the left jugular vein, and in 1b) the pathologist places multiple penetrating dog bites to her neck.
‘The reason for the inquest required is the nature of the traumatic injuries.’
Ms Johnston’s inquest is set to resume on June 29.