I was interested to read your articles on savage dog attacks [Will they wait until this dog kills a child to act?, Gazette, January 28; and Another attack with no punishment at all, Gazette, February 4].

As with the original article, one of my King Charles Spaniels was attacked by a pack of Greyhounds but unfortunately did not survive the attack.

The owner was in charge of six or seven dogs when it happened.

The RSPCA referred me to the police; the police said there was nothing they could do and referred me to the local authority dog warden, who seemed to be the best informed.

Luckily, I got the name and telephone number of the owner. The owners were fairly callous, treating the incident like they had accidently backed into my car, refusing to admit blame and couldn't see why they should pay the vet bill, just £200.

The Citizens' Advice Bureau advised me not to pursue it as it would be a difficult case to win.

It was only when I sent [the owners] a legal looking letter threatening to prosecute them that they agreed to pay up.

The dog warden told me he was grateful that I had reported them to him (most people give up at this stage apparently) but said that the most they could do was 'recommend to the court' that in future the dogs be muzzled and on a lead.

The Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 does not cover dog-on-dog attacks; they have to be prosecuted under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1861.

At this stage there would be no prosecution. This will only happen when the dogs kill another dog.

Even then, because there is less registration for a dog than a TV, they do not need to be licensed and the owner can deny they own the dogs.

This is quite common apparently. In Canada they have much stronger legal powers.

Perhaps one day this country will catch up.


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