Dangerous Dogs

 11th December 2009

 Adrian will propose a motion to Council on Monday night on the control of dangerous dogs.

(1)   Council notes that legal provisions concerning dogs were, in particular, enacted under the Dogs Act 1871; the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991; and, inter alia, the 1997 amendments.

(2)   Whilst the government is to be applauded for introducing control provisions for particular breeds experience demonstrates that tragedies continue to occur in private premises and open spaces.

(3)   Council notes that individuals with ill intent are easily able to acquire dogs that can be trained as ‘attack’ instruments.  Irrespective of intent anybody can acquire dogs that are not, under   extant legal provisions, deemed to be dangerous but may nevertheless through training for aggression, through ignorance or failure of training, or through neglect or any other reason, become hazardous in domestic surroundings or public places.  

(4)   The Government is therefore called upon to take urgent measures to:

  1.  re-define the meaning of ‘dangerous’;
  2. re-consider the range of breeds that may be deemed dangerous;
  3. enact stricter measures of control; and
  4. consider the feasibility and viability of re-introducing licensing of individuals seeking dog ownership.
Adrian's English Springer and Welsh Collie have just been for a muddy day out.

Adrian's English Springer and Welsh Collie have just been for a muddy day out.

Lest anybody should think Adrian is against dog ownership, nothing could be further from the truth – as the picture on the left, of his own two dogs, shows. 

But despite legal measures the Labour Government has already introduced there are still far too many tragic incidents.

Dangerous dogs. A personal view from Cllr Adrian Jones.

4th December 2009.

Details of the latest tragedy involving dogs, in Liverpool, are reported in the links below.

Merseyside Police vow to take robust action against the growing menace of owners and their “status “dogs across Merseyside.   Police are warning they will take action following the tragic death of John Paul Massey.

New link – 4th December 2009

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/12/04/merseyside-police-vow-to-rid-liverpool-of-dangerous-dogs-after-john-paul-massey-s-death-100252-25319090/

Previous links

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8386023.stm

 http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/local-news/2009/11/30/liverpool-dog-attack-boy-named-by-neighbours-as-jon-paul-massey-100252-25288226/

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/John-Paul-Massey-Killed-In-Liverpool-Dog-Attack-Four-Year-Old-Boy-Lived-On-Ash-Grove-Wavertree/Article/200911415479407?lpos=UK_News_Carousel_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15479407_John-Paul_Massey_Killed_In_Liverpool_Dog_Attack%2C_Four-Year-Old_Boy_Lived_On_Ash_Grove%2C_Wavertree

Adrian's English Springer takes an interest.

Adrian's English Springer takes an interest.

A matter raised frequently by residents attending my surgeries is their fear of dogs.  There is particuar concern among parents who fear some of the dogs they meet when taking small children to our parks.  But there are also concerns among the owners of well trained dogs when their pets are harrassed by untrained muts whose owners seem not to care a jot.  I have raised this with our local PCSOs and Police.

In recent weeks there has already been quite some correspondence in the press about dogs and their owners. Does the argument concentrate rather too simplistically on whether ‘bad dogs’ or ‘bad owners’ are the problem?  This seems to be the mantra when anything from savage attacks to mucky pavements is on the agenda.  But are too many people making too many excuses?  Some correspondents seem to be ‘dog experts’ but isn’t it really a matter for common sense?

The plain fact is that dogs, like humans, can misbehave.  If a toy poodle has a ‘bad hair day’ it might savage your shoe-laces; if a 6 or even 8 stone so called ‘working dog’ standing 30″ at the shoulders becomes aggressive it’s a different matter entirely.   
 
Not so long ago an Egremont resident living near the Town Hall took her tiny Yorkshire Terrier onto the promenade, only to be attacked by what she believes was a bull terrier.   She scooped her tiny pet up and held it as high as she could while the attacking dog tore at them both.  Her hand was savaged and her Yorkie had half of its foot torn off before she could get away.  She was incredibly courageous while the owner of the ‘attack dog’ made no attempt to control it.  He was never caught and there is speculation that he was enjoying some kind of sick sport.  In another appalling case a tiny Chihuahua was killed, still on its lead, by a huge dog while its terrified lady owner was helpless to defend it.

Adrian & John will be raising the need to greatly strengthen the Dangerous Dogs legislation.

Dog ownership in our locality.

 

Today, Saturday, John and Adrian were out delivering information leaflets and knocking on doors. 

Dog's foot bitten offSeveral people commented on our recent website article – drawing attention to the need for responsible dog ownership and for owners to clean up after their pets.  

Adrian has been asked to draw attention to a couple of ill trained dogs whose owners habitually allow them to roam completely out of control and attack other dogs in our parks; the police CSOs are keeping a cafeful watch for incidents of this sort.  If a dog’s not trained, it’s the owner not the dog who should know better.

This picture shows the dreadful injuries inflicted by an ill trained bull terrier (on Egremont Promenade) whose owner could not control it.  It had bitten half of this tiny Yorkie’s foot off while its lady owner bravely struggled to protect it.  Her hand was bitten, too, before the attacking dog could be restrained. 

That dog should never have been so badly kept that it had become aggressive – but it was its owner who was to blame for its behaviour.