Thursday, 12 April 2012

Unsociable Dogs, Underclass Scum Owners...

A guide dog who was just weeks from finishing her training might never get to work for the blind after an attack in Swindon town centre.

Grace was guiding her trainer, Philippa Davidson, of Devizes, through The Par-ade, Swindon, at 3.30pm on Tuesday of last week, when a Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog bit Grace’s face and held on for about 20 seconds.
No doubt (although there are no comments yet) there will be the usual clamour that this is 'demonising' the Staffie, but it's almost always these, isn't it?

And no, leash laws are no use. Are you listening, councils? Are you, people who think they have an answer due to their experiences?
Ms Davidson, who has worked for Guide Dogs for nearly 30 years, said: “There was a group of youngsters outside Greggs and I could see they had the dog on a lead. I thought ‘good’, but you are always aware.

“Grace was just doing her job going around them and as she got level this dog shot out from between their legs and grabbed Grace’s face.

“Grace was screaming and trying to pull back. The dog just hung on and it was causing Grace more and more stress. I made a fist and was hitting the other dog on the head. I used my feet as well.

The young woman wasn’t doing anything other than holding the lead.
And, of course, left the scene immediately her weapon dog was beaten off the guide dog by others. How very unsurprising...
Police have spoken to witnesses and are examining CCTV footage of the scene.

The other dog owner is described as female, blonde with her hair tied up and was wearing all white. Her dog had a white head and dark body.
Looks like just about any of Swindon's young female Greggs customers, I'll bet.


Batsby said...

They should be shot on sight.

AND their dogs.

RightGirl said...

I've been having this pitbull conversation since 5th grade public speaking, where I argued against the dogs.

Then a few years ago, when Ontario Canada banned them outright, listening to the sturm und drang made me realize something: the wishy-washies are scared that if we admit it's the fault of a breed (read: race) within a species, then we could easily make the case for say Muslims, or that most sacred of sacred cows, the you-know-whos.

Scientifically, genetically, the case might be solid. But... we don't really want to go down that road - again.


James Higham said...

Speaking of leashes, I saw a toddler on a leash today - and she was straining against it. Think there might be far more of this as we produce more and more little monsters.

Budvar said...

Joolz, what's with the "Weapon dogs" comment? Come on, anyone would think you were after a job as a columnist for the "News of the Sun" or something.

Now before you begin foaming at the mouth and the sparks fly from your finger tips as you type ""It's always a Staffie in all these type of cases", it isn't. One of the nastiest bleeding things I've ever come across is my mates mothers Yorkshire terrier.

Ever stop to think that the reason Staffies are always in the frame these days is because they're the latest fad in a long line, in the 70s it was Alsations, the 80s Rottwieller/Dobermans etc.

You may be surprised to learn that some of the biggest culprits for biting kids are breeds like Huskies, Border Collies and Golden retrievers, but you don't tend to hear much of Guide dogs savaging their owners (Which happens with alarming regularity btw) as you can't turn on the telly or open a newspaper without seeing ads for some "Doggie charity" plucking the heartstrings with their "Just 3 pound a month will save Rin tin tin from a one way trip to the vets" spiel.

Give it another 3 years, and the next problem "Pooch du Jour" will be another breed, but the same problem will occur due to idiots buying dogs only to leave them alone all day whilst they're out at work and then wonder why they shit everywhere and chew the furniture. They'll then either lock them in the back yard to bark and howl all day and night or a cage. When they do come home from work, and the dog jumps up at them as he's pleased to see them and get hit for their trouble or the kids are racing them around from the moment they walk through the door til the time they go to bed, then people wonder why they turn nasty.

Then there's other peoples idiot kids who when they're not barking at my dog through the fence, they're poking him with sticks or throwing rubbish at him. You tell them to stop teasing the dog, they reply "We're not" when I've just stood their watching them do it. Of course if the dog ever bites them, it'll be my fault and the dogs, and cue much wringing of hands and "Something must be done about these attack killer dogs" by some chatterati pillock with an axe to grind.

JuliaM said...

@RightGirl: no, indeed. I do lean more to the 'it's the owners!' argument, but a bad owner with a spaniel isn't quite the same threat...

@James: oddly enough, we were discussing in the office how you rarely see toddlers on reins these days!

@Budvar: I take your point, but I use the term because very often, that's just why these dogs are owned, with a certain 'type'. And as noted above, a vicious Yorkie isn't quite the same threat, is it?

Yes, most of the problems can be traced to people who don't know how to treat a dog, whether it's because they want a weapon, or a little human being in a fur coat (coupled with the general attitude these days that it's your 'right' to be antisocial).

How we tackle that is a minefield. Dog licensing won't work with chavs & will be an imposition on responsible owners.

But I fear that's what we're going to get.

Budvar said...

Joolz, what do you mean "a vicious Yorkie isn't quite the same threat, is it?"?
You did read the bit I said about "Huskies, Border collies and Golden Retrievers being some of the worst offenders for biting"?

Still, allow me to use this analogy for you.

Picture the scene, any Magistrates court, any given day. Before the beak appears some Dickensian, 10st little tosser with a glue sniffing problem, dressed in his hoodie top, tracky bottoms and the ubiquitous baseball cap with a smell and look about him like he hasn't had a wash in 10 days. The defence in mitigation turns around and says "Your worships, On his own admission my client Mr Chavvy McScrote is a violent and dishonest mugger of old ladies etc, but due to his size, he isn't the threat that Iron mike or the Kray twins were, is he?".

JuliaM said...

@Budvar: I used the Yorkie example because you mentioned the nastiest dog you'd seen was one!

And, frankly, yes. We wouldn't sentence a petty thief to the same tariff as the Great Bank Robbers because he doesn't pose the same threat, would we? Quite rightly.

It's all about gradation of harm - the Yorkie inflicts a painful bite that scars, and can be hauled off the victim by a normal man or woman. The bigger, more powerful dog can kill, and may need an armed police unit to stop.

Peter Risdon said...

Make owners fully legally responsible for the actions of their dogs. Take seriously dog-on-dog attacks. Force the payment of vet bills. Take the cases seriously, use CCTV evidence, track down the owners.

Like all civil disturbance issues, it's a matter of actually enforcing the bloody law, not passing new gesture legislation that penalises those who aren't a problem.

There really isn't any other way. Gestures like the DDA haven't, and don't, work.