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“Dog on dog” attack led to owner appearing in court

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DOG owners need to be more aware of a relatively recent amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act which puts them at increased risk of prosecution if they fail to keep their pets under control.
This is the view of a Culcheth woman whose two black greyhounds – Samba and Lexie – were recently attacked by a black Staffordshire terrier.
Pia Johnson was returning home from a walk with the two greyhounds on their leads when the “dog on dog” attack took place.
The terrier, which was not on a lead, ran at Mrs Johnson’s dogs, running up behind Samba and biting him in the groin causing him to cry with pain.
Her owner was calling her back but the terrier ignored her.
Mrs Johnson was screaming at the other dog owner to get her dog off. But the terrier then attacked her other dog, Lexie, biting her shoulder.
Both the greyhounds were screaming with pain and fear and Mrs Johnson, who was still hanging on to their leads in case they ran onto a main road, was jerked back and to violently and eventually fell over.
The terrier was right in front of her.
“I was terrified she was going to bite my face, which was at her level, as she was snarling and growling at me as well.”
Samba managed to pull his lead out of Mrs Johnson’s hand and ran home. The terrier’s owner was trying, unsuccessfully, to control the dog.
Eventually she managed to catch the dog, told her she was a “bad dog” and repeatedly said: “I will pay, I will fix it.”
The whole incident lasted less than five minutes.
When Mrs Johnson got home she realised both her dogs were injured – Samba particularly so. The wound in his groin was four inches deep.
Both dogs were taken to a vet who operated on them the same evening and kept them in overnight.
Samba’s wounds took 60 days to heal and Lexie, who had nine stitches in her shoulder, took 20 days to heal. In total, the vet’s fees were £3,000.
Mrs Johnson contacted the local dog warden and the police and the terrier’s owner was subsequently prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act for allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control.
The court imposed a control order on the terrier for life and gave her owner a 12 month suspended sentence. She also had to pay costs – although her insurance had paid the vet fees prior to the hearing.
The control order requires Lily to wear a muzzle, a body harness, both attached to a double lead not more than 1.5m long, and not be walked by anyone under age 16 in public for the rest of her life.
The owner has to attend dog training classes and ensure her house and garden boundaries are secure.
Mrs Johnson said the whole incident had been unavoidable had the terrier been on its lead.
As it was, the dog’s owner now had a criminal conviction and her dog could potentially be seized and put down if there was a breach of the control order.
Mrs Johnson said: “This conviction was possible because of a relatively recent amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act – dog owners should be more aware than they are of this amendment and what is means – which is that if you do not control your dog properly and it hurts or badly frightens people, or hurts another dog you can get in a lot of trouble.
“Dog attacks are something the police are willing to take proportionate action over now
“Irresponsible dog owners should not think (as many do) that just saying ‘sorry’ is sufficient no matter what your dog does.”

The wound in Samba’s groin

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4 Comments

  1. How horrifying for these poor dogs and their owner. Totally avoidable ~ the dog who attacked these beautiful dogs should have been on a lead end of!!!

  2. There is NO EXCUSE. Take RESPONSIBILITY for your dog’s actions.
    Get a lead, a basket muzzle, a break stick. Last item need incase dog throws the muzzle off. Learn to read dog body language. Be vigilant on dog walks.
    If your dog attacks, do the decent thing and intervene rapidly. Yes you might get injured but you chose a powerful dog with certain abilities (gameness, persistence, determination.) STEP UP.

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