'Hero' Father Killed By Abused Dog He Rescued

A man who dedicated his life to rescuing abused animals has died after being attacked by a dog.

Adam Watts, 55, ran the Juniper Kennels and Cattery in Kirkton of Auchterhouse near Dundee, Scotland, with the help of his five young sons, according to the kennels' Facebook page.

Watts was pronounced dead at the scene on Wednesday after being attacked by a dog that police are thought to have previously seized and then brought to him for rehabilitation, The Guardian newspaper reported.

It was not immediately known what kind of dog had attacked Watts, but the BBC reported on Friday that the animal had not yet been put down.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal," Police Scotland said, according to the BBC. Police have been contacted for additional comment.

Juniper Kennels' Facebook page said it had 22 kennels of varying sizes, eight catteries and an enclosed exercise area to the rear where dogs could have a "safe, secure free run." A post on the page on Saturday said the kennels are now closed.

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Tributes have poured in for Watts, describing him as a passionate animal welfare campaigner and dedicated father to his five sons.

Watts was a "hero in the dog world," said Save Our Seized Dogs, a group that aids people whose pets are seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, a law that prohibits or restricts certain types of dogs.

"Adam would take any dog to give them the chance of life and was the kennels of choice for the police in Dundee," the group wrote in a Facebook post. "His gentle, calm nature soon gained the trust of some of the most abused dogs and they were able to go from him to find loving homes."

The post added: "Adam died doing what he loved, he leaves behind 5 boys who he was the sole parent to. He talked of them often and was so proud of the older boys helping him with the dogs. This is an unbearable tragedy at any time of year. It is even more so at Christmas."

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Another rescue group, Salt's Helping Hounds Rescue, added that Watts "was the kindest most thoughtful man who was dedicated to helping dogs and no request was ever too much. Heartbreaking for his boys and family who he so often talked about."

The two groups set up a JustGiving fundraising page to help Watts' sons, which has so far raised more than $40,000 (£30,000.) In a post on the page, the groups said the children's mother had died in 2013. The organizers have been contacted for comment.

"He was not just a kennel owner. He saved many dogs which he felt needed saved and would campaign for dogs welfare," SuperSmart Dog Training wrote in a tribute posted on Facebook.

"All who met him found a caring, loving man who lived for his 5 boys and dogs. Since his wife died, this was his life [and he] put his heart and soul into saving dogs... He will be missed by all."

Man attacked by dog
Stock image of dog in cage. A man was fatally attacked by the abused dog he resuced. Getty Images