What can we do about out of control dogs? March 28, 2019 16:07 2 Comments

What can we do about out of control dogs?

 

This week my friend’s dogs were attacked in a car park.  She was just back at the end of a woodland walk.   From down the track behind her hurtled two dogs in attack mode, the larger of the two pinned down one of hers, snarling and lunging and the smaller one leapt in biting.  My friend managed to get one of her two in the car; meanwhile our victim was on the floor squealing in terror.  The larger dog defecated all over him too as a dominance gesture.

The whole incident was horrendous and the owners were nowhere to be seen.  There were no witnesses.  This wasn’t a one off event.  These dogs had done this on four other occasions.  My friend can’t sleep, and her normally chilled and playful dogs are now fearful.  I must stress, there had been no previous engagement, and the attacks were totally unprovoked. 

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The law is very clear.  It is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as in a public place, in a private place, for example a neighbour’s house or garden, in the owner’s home.  The law applies to all dogs.  What does “ dangerously out of control " refer to in reality?  Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone, makes someone worried that it might injure them, if it attacks someone’s animal or if the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal.

Seems pretty clear doesn’t it?  The incidents have been reported but nothing has come of it.  So what are we meant to do to protect our pets?  How do we persuade people to take responsibility?  The owners in question are a professional couple; maybe they feel they are above the law?  Their names and their dog’s names are known, but what can we do with that information without getting reported ourselves over information protection? 

My best advice is do the right things, play it by the book.  Contact the police with the details and the dog warden.  Warn other dog walkers via Facebook in your area about the problem, but avoid names.  Contact professional dog walkers locally and warn them too.  Get word out and be vigilant.  Information is power.  If you meet the perpetrators and decide to confront them, be very careful indeed.

Please share your experiences of anything similar and how you dealt with it.  There simply must be a way, despite Police funding cuts and understaffed councils, to make our lives with our animals safer.

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