When dogs attack people it makes the headlines. Reports are rife online, in the printed media and on television of attacks by dogs on people, many of which are young children.
Recently a five-year-old girl from Wolverhampton was savagely attacked by two bull-mastiffs and sustained serious injuries as a result. Reports say the girl was tossed around like a rag doll during the frenzied onslaught and it must have been such a harrowing scene to witness as helpers tried in vain to prevent the attack.
More should be done to protect innocent people being attacked like this. There’s no denying the responsibility lies firmly with the owners of the animals.
Thankfully new changes were made to the Dangerous Dogs Act back in May and this means tougher prison sentences for owners that fail to keep their dogs under control.
Here’s a brief update of the new rules and what this means to people who fail to conform.
Maximum prison sentences have been increased for starters. From now on if your dog attacks a person outside or in your home you could receive any of the following:
- Up to 14 years, from two years, for a fatal dog attack.
- Up to five years, from two years, for injury.
- Up to three years if an assistance dog is attacked.
For the first time guide dogs and assistance dogs have been included in the act and we welcome this at K9 Patrol, attacks on these animals have been overlooked for too long.
As Guide Dogs Chief Executive Richard Leaman explains:
“An attack on a guide dog can be devastating. It can rob someone with sight loss of their independence and freedom, leaving them virtually housebound.
We’re delighted that irresponsible owners can now be given tougher sentences if their dog attacks an assistance dog.
With an average of 10 guide dogs being attacked every month, we’re looking to the police to fully use their new powers to protect vulnerable people from these sometimes life-changing attacks.”
The new powers are unlikely to prevent all dog attacks from happening in the future but they should provide owners of dogs with plenty to think about in the future.
We take a responsible attitude to canine training at K9. As a dog owner, do you take the same approach?