TWO men in a van attempted to take a woman’s dogs for illegal fighting.

The woman, aged in her 70s, was approached by the men who were in a van in Southwick Road, Canvey.

The men attempted to convince her to let her dogs fight and then threatened to kill her pets, but the woman managed to get away.

Her daughter took to Facebook to warn others about the incident.

She said: “At 12.45pm on November 23, in Southwick Road my mum was out walking her dogs and was stopped by two young men in a small white van.

“One of the men had ginger curly hair the other had short brown hair. They attempted to offer my mum money for the dogs to use them in a dog fight.

“Once she told them where to go, they threatened to kill the dogs.

“She was left too shaken up to get the van’s number plates but clearly they are trawling the roads to steal a dog for a dog fight.

“Has anyone see them? This has been reported to the police.”

The incident has sparked fury across the island, with dog lovers and residents blasting the men.

Deidre Cox, 71, of Southwick Road, Canvey said: “We cannot have this sort of thing going on here.

“I can’t quite believe anyone would want to do anything like this.

“I know people on Canvey are dog lovers, so it could be these are men from other areas.

“I am glad the woman stood up to these men and I hope police catch and deal with them as soon as possible.

“People need to be on the alert after this dreadful incident.

“Dog fighting is absolutely disgusting and cannot be allowed.”

A spokesman Essex Police said: “We were called with reports that a woman was approached by two men who were asking about her dogs, on Southwick Road, Canvey.

“A woman in her 70s was approached by two men who were in a small white van.

“The first man was described as having curly ginger hair and the second man had short brown hair. The men tried to bait her into a dog fight, which she declined.

“Anyone with information is asked to call us on 101 quoting incident 575 of November 23.”