You might have read in the news recently about the poor woman who watched helplessly while her adored Yorkshire terrier, Fergus, was mauled to death by a ‘bull mastiff-type dog’. It’s one of those stories that’s shocking to read and must have been so devastating to actually witness. Natasha from Pet-Tags and her dog Daisy unfortunately witnessed the scene at the vet afterwards…..
“It was the most distressing scene… The vet team tried their best to save him. Everyone at the vets was in a state of shock, as everything had happened so quickly. We were advised that there would be a wait due to an emergency. The owner of Fergus came out of the consultation room and was obviously very upset and distressed and she told us what had happened. I passed on my condolences and she gave Daisy a hug. The owner of the attacking dog was waiting outside and words were exchanged. It was a very sombre wait at the vets, one I would never want to be repeated. Even Daisy was aware that something wasn’t right and her behaviour reflected this. The owner of the “bull mastiff dog” spoke to one of the receptionists outside and said that they wanted to have the dog put down as it had attacked before. I am unsure as to whether this actually happened, as Daisy was soon seen and we left. I went to the bakers on my way home and brought the receptionists and veterinary staff some cakes ( I didn’t know what else to do), as it was a horrible thing to deal with first thing on Saturday morning. It was hard not be moved or affected. It played on my mind all day and weekend that this sort of thing could happen to any pet or anyone. I strongly feel that a dog that has attacked before should not be allowed off a lead and certainly shouldn’t be without a muzzle. I’ve spent the last week cautiously watching every dog around Daisy and her puppy Poppy whilst out on their run and wondering what I would do if….’.
At Pet-Tags we work with The Kennel Club to promote responsible dog ownership. Microchipping, identification tags and sensible breeding are important, but what can we do about dangerous dogs taken out in public by their clueless owners who don’t even put a muzzle on them? The vicious dog was apparently going to be put down but we don’t know whether or not that happened. Police are now investigating. New laws allow courts to consider whether the owner of a dog accused of being a danger to the public is ‘fit and proper’ to be in charge of the animal. The Act will increase the maximum prison sentence which can be imposed for aggravated Section 3 cases, which affects dogs being out of control in public. The Kennel Club called the new Bill ‘a positive piece of legislation’ which would improve many of the ‘existing inadequacies of the current dog control laws. The measures send a clear message to owners regarding their responsibilities in training and socialising, and rightly shifts legislative focus to the correct end of the lead – at dog owners themselves.’ The Blue Cross says ‘We have been campaigning for new laws to protect the public for more than 20 years and we welcome efforts to make owners more accountable for the behaviour of their dogs, both in public and on private property.’
What joy can anyone gain from owning a vicious dog who could kill another animal or even a child when out in public? We’d love to know your thoughts on this and look forward to hearing your comments and any personal stories ….