A chihuahua was left fighting for his life after being savagely attacked by a fox for the second time in four years.

Seven-year-old Pepe lost an eye when he was first attacked by a fox back in 2008.

On Sunday, he was viciously attacked in his garden for a second time, and was close to death when found by his owner Vicky Neophytou.

Mrs Neophytou of Ridge Road, Stonecot Hill, said: "It was 11.30am and I was cutting my son's hair in the kitchen.

I could hear squeaking, I thought the cat had a bird in the garden. I went out and Pepe was just lying there on the patio with the fox over him and there was blood everywhere.

"I shooed the fox away, but he didn't go far. He saw all this blood, that Pepe was close to death and obviously thought he was going to be his lunch.

"It was awful, I couldn't talk on the phone I was hyperventilating, the words wouldn't come out. I was so glad the vet was open, I didn't think he was going to survive in the car."

Pepe suffered three broken ribs, several puncture wounds and severe blood loss in the attack. He remains at the vet in North Cheam and may not be allowed home for another three days.

Mrs Neophytou has been advised to keep her dog flap closed, but has another dog and a cat at home.

She said: "I don't know what to do. If I keep the dog flap closed the dogs will only be able to go out when I open the door but that means the cat can't come and go.

"I've contacted Foxagon to see if they can take the fox away but they said it's illegal as its the foxes territory, but that is ridiculous it is our garden. It is as if the foxes have all the rights."

Terry Woods of Foxagon, a fox protection organisation, said he had advised Mrs Neophytou on how to fox proof her garden.

He said: "They [foxes] are a natural fauna, we can't clinically destroy something just because we don't like it."