So, what can we do about this pressing problem?‘This pressing problem’ being..?
Less than a month ago, my beloved Cavalier King Charles puppy was ripped to pieces by another dog.Ah. Yes. A sadly all too common occurrence these days.
Still, being a ‘celebrity’, she at least didn’t get the brush-off from the police that so many other bereaved owners have had:
My traumatised friend called the police, who have been nothing but helpful and supportive.Really? That’s more than us commoners are likely to get, so think yourself fortunate!
But by then the bull terrier had fled and there was little they could do.
I have logged DNA samples from the bite marks with the veterinary unit at Liverpool University so we can prove what animal carried out the attack if the matter ever comes to court.
I still hope to track down the culprit but, so far, we have nothing.She then goes on to direct her ire at the DDA itself:
The Dangerous Dogs Act was passed in haste in 1991 after a spate of violent dog attacks made the headlines. Its recommendations were vague and ill-considered - and the whole Act little more than a rushed sop to public anxiety.Amen!
… it seems clear to me that the dangerous minority of irresponsible or downright sadistic owners who view a dog as little more than an accessory to violence must be targeted by the Government.Amen again!
The selfish young men - and they nearly always are young men - who keep powerful dogs only as status symbols to intimidate those around them are so busy strutting around the place that they forget about the welfare of the dog or anyone else in society.
They are not fit to be in charge of another living being.Wow, it’s ‘Amen corner’ here today! Whew!
Still, it’s nice to see that, for once, someone isn’t urging useless ‘solutions’ or time-consuming legislation, or tarring every dog owner with the same onerous restri…
Oh. Hang on.
The Act states that if a dog is ‘dangerously out of control in a public place’ then its owner or the person in charge of the dog at the time is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine or up to six months in prison. However, ‘out of control’ may mean different things to different people. A careless owner may see nothing more harmful than a playful ‘nip’, while a terrified child who gets bitten may live in fear of dogs for the rest of its life.
The Act gives no guidance on what ‘out of control’ may mean.I’m pretty sure ‘out of control’ means exactly what it says on the tin.
Confusing sub-sections refer to dogs deemed sufficiently dangerous to be muzzled only being allowed in a public place in the charge of someone over the age of 16.
Yet that is ignored with impunity by the hooded teenagers I pass on the streets and in the parks of Liverpool - few of whom bother with muzzles at all.Ah. Yes. But that’s not a problem with the legislation itself, is it? It’s a problem with the application of the legislation. Quite a different kettle of poisson.
And for all you know, the dogs you see aren’t covered by those provisions, having never been the subject of court cases, and not being prohibited breeds.
In short, the sanctions against the owners of dogs which snarl and snap, strain at the leash and intimidate neighbours should be far stricter.‘Straining at the leash’ and ‘intimidating neighbours’ now demand sanctions?
I believe that the police should have the right to shoot dogs with a tranquiliser on the spot if they are out of control.Oh. Right. Clearly, you’re another celebrity with very, very little brain, then.
The police can’t be expected to all train in the safe use of tranquilisers – none of which are effective immediately, no matter what you might have seen on tv – can they?
The owners of dogs that savage people or other animals in unprovoked attacks should without question be sent to jail.
The dogs themselves, unfortunately, are best destroyed if they have reached that level of viciousness.Eh..? Does this demand make any provision for the fact that the owner of a dog isn’t a mind-reader, and an attack can come out of the blue with no warning, through illness?
So my local vicar, whose impeccably pedigreed, obedient and beautifully mannered (up ‘til then!) Labrador pup went berserk suddenly should do a few months in chokey, despite him having no warning of what the vet said when he took her to be put down could have been a brain tumour?
What happened to targeting those ‘dangerous minority of irresponsible or downright sadistic owners who view a dog as little more than an accessory to violence’..?
The rules outlawing some breeds and crosses of those breeds, such as pit bulls, should stay in place and related breeds of banned dogs should never go out without being muzzled and kept on a leash. If people make an active decision to keep a powerful, potentially aggressive dog, they must accept the responsibilities that go with it.‘Related breeds of banned dogs’? What’s that? Staffordshires? Huskies? Mastiffs? All of them? Even those that have never shown aggression?
Next you’ll be demanding restrictions on chihuahuas and…
I’d like to see all dogs, from toy poodles to Labradors, micro-chipped by law as another way to make owners more accountable. At the same time as they are chipped, they should have a sample of their DNA entered on a national database.And who’s going to pay for it? You?
Dog licences were abolished in 1987 because so few people bothered to apply for them, but I believe the time is right to reinstate them.Because those hooded teenagers you pass on the streets of Liverpool will just get right on that, won’t they?
And Mrs Miggins at No. 24 can easily afford to pay the licence for her 12 year old half-blind pug, so long as she doesn’t want to eat that month…
So we’ve gone from ‘the authorities know who’s to blame!’ to ‘just trap everyone who owns a dog in the net!’ in a few short paragraphs?
For the life of me, I can’t see where celebrities get this reputation as vacuous, mouth-breathing airheads, can you?