Fig­ures show alarm­ing rise in five years

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Spate Of Break-ins -

Dogs vi­o­lently attacked hu­mans hun­dreds of times in Kent last year, it has been re­vealed.

Of­fi­cers were called to at least 597 in­ci­dents of dog at­tacks which re­sulted in in­jury, ac­cord­ing to po­lice records, an av­er­age of more than 11 times a week and a huge in­crease over the last five years.

In 2011, there just 19 in­ci­dents recorded by po­lice.

In the last month alone Ken­tOn­line has re­ceived re­ports of a girl be­ing bit­ten near a school in Folke­stone, and a pit­bull-cross that attacked a one-year-old baby in Thanet.

The news has prompted dog train­ers to urge own­ers of ca­nines who show ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour to man­age their pet prop­erly.

Dog trainer Jackie Mur­phy, from Gravesend, has been bit­ten sev­eral times by dan­ger­ous dogs dur­ing her career, in­clud­ing twice on the leg and once on her arm.

She said: “I think there’s been a rise in the num­ber of peo­ple who ac­tu­ally own dogs, which may ex­plain the fig­ures.

“I also think some­times there’s a lack of train­ing.

“If you are wor­ried your dog might be ag­gres­sive, the key thing is to speak to a qual­i­fied ex­pert.

“To man­age the dog, the key thing is to make sure the dog is kept on a lead, and that it is suit­ably muz­zled.”

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