Dog at­tacks and what to do

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

I was walk­ing my reg­is­tered, mi­crochipped, friendly, el­derly dog with her lead on along our reg­u­lar route on a pub­lic foot­path last week when another dog raced out from a house bark­ing.

Be­fore I knew it, it had her by the neck with its mouth.

I shouted and scared the other dog enough for it to let go and peo­ple in the house call­ing the dog.

I went down the path to the house and told them, in no un­cer­tain terms, that they needed to con­trol their dog.

While I was do­ing that, their dog grabbed my dog by the neck again.

For­tu­nately my dog didn’t re­act in kind. Be­ing three times big­ger, she could have prob­a­bly done more dam­age to it than it did to her.

The peo­ple apol­o­gised pro­fusely, but I told them that I would be re­port­ing them.

Dur­ing the pre­vi­ous week two other dogs were pre­sented to our vet clin­ics that were also attacked by dogs not on leads or be­ing con­trolled by their own­ers.

It makes me very cross, not only be­cause those un­con­trolled dogs have caused pain and suf­fer­ing to the attacked dogs and emo­tional dis­tress to their own­ers, but be­cause th­ese less-than-re­spon­si­ble peo­ple and their dogs that give the vast ma­jor­ity of re­spon­si­ble dog own­ers and well-be­haved dogs a bad name.

Peo­ple should be able to walk in pub­lic places with­out risk of any dog caus­ing them harm or mak­ing them afraid.

What if a child had been walk­ing a smaller dog past that house where my dog was attacked? What if the child had tried to phys­i­cally sep­a­rate the dogs?

Or what if the dog that rushed out wasn’t small but weighed 40-plus ki­los?

The law, un­der the Dog Con­trol Act, is very clear. Dog own­ers must have con­trol of their dogs in pub­lic places.

If your dog is attacked and re­tal­i­ates, avoid get­ting your hands any­where near their mouths. In­stead, try to get help. Shout­ing may help, or sep­a­rat­ing them by grab­bing their leads.

Don’t try to out­run a dog. Nearly all dogs will be faster than most peo­ple and they love chas­ing things.

Dogs are great an­i­mals, fab­u­lous friends and com­pan­ions. But peo­ple need to con­trol those dogs that are not well-be­haved and friendly.

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