Dog owners asked to take the lead
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is launching a campaign reminding residents that it is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, including in your own home.
Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone, makes someone worried it might injure them, attacks an animal or if the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured trying to stop such an attack.
Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and the Environment Cllr Hayley Eachus said: “The vast majority of dog owners are very responsible when it comes to keeping their pets under control.
“But unfortunately there are those who aren’t as responsible, and who put others at risk by failing to use a lead when necessary or failing to keep their pet securely in their property. Our message to owners is to think carefully about how you control your dog.
“If you know that they don’t listen to command, or if you’re around other people or wildlife, use a lead. The same applies if your dog is likely to be a nuisance to other owners. And please make sure that your home and garden is secure. The consequences of irresponsible dog ownership can be severe and even deadly.”
Chris and Lyn Roe know just how serious the consequences can be when it comes to responsible dog ownership. Their beloved Westie Bobby was attacked last October, and suffered injuries which were so severe that he had to be put down.
The attack happened just feet away from the couple’s front door, as Chris set off on a walk with Bobby on a lead. But two Staffordshire Terriers, owned by neighbours, appeared just seconds after he left the house. Neither were wearing a collar and one viciously attacked Bobby
Their owner was at work, and workmen had left the door of the property open.
Lyn said: “It was absolutely awful. Bobby was such a sweet and gentle dog. He was 14 years old and everyone loved him. Chris is still traumatised about what happened and the fact that he was unable to save Bobby. But because of human negligence, two healthy dogs lost their lives that day.
“It’s always the owner’s responsibility to keep their dogs secure and under control, especially around other animals and children. Bobby paid the ultimate price.”
Owners whose dogs are dangerously out of control could get an unlimited fine and be sent to prison for up to six months. For more information about responsible dog ownership, visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/take-the-lead