We are a group of people who are concerned about the increasing number of Companion Dogs being killed or suffering life changing injuries on a daily basis as a result of an unprovoked attack by another dog. Little dogs, because of their size, suffer the highest number of fatalities and injuries.
These attacks are not the result of canine interaction that has escalated but, out of the blue, unprovoked attacks. Under current legislation, however, these attacks are classed as “dog-on-dog” and not a criminal offence. Perpetrators know that they can act with impunity and are rarely held to account. Although, on paper, there appear to be measures that the police and local council officers can take to deal with irresponsible owners they are rarely implemented effectively.
Companion dogs are regarded as a much loved member of the family and seeing them seriously injured or killed is traumatic both for the dog and the owners. A large number of owners suffer psychological distress for a considerable period of time.
The Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee published a report in October 2018 on the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. They concluded that the Government’s current approach to dog control is failing to protect people. Hospital admissions as a result of a dog bite had increased by 81% since 2005. It is not therefore surprising that the number of attacks on Companion Dogs has increased substantially over the same period.
The true number of attacks is unknown because there is very little reliable data. At the end of 2016 Nicky Morgan MP put in a Freedom of Information Request to all police forces in England. 14 out of 39 forces that responded held easily accessible data. In those 14 areas there were more than 1,700 dog on dog attacks over the previous two years. This equates to 16 per week.
Our Facebook Group Justice for Brody & Companion Dogs has been monitoring the local press and social media since August 2018. We record attacks and offer support and advice to victims.
We are calling on the Government to:-
- Give the same legal rights to companion dogs that currently apply to humans and assistance dogs.
- To set up a centralised database to record information on attacks on companion dogs.
We are calling on Local Authorities to:-
- To follow the example of Barking & Dagenham Council and introduce the Responsible Pet Parent programme underpinned by Dog DNA pioneered in the USA by BioPet Laboratories and operating in several countries worldwide with great success.
- To reintroduce dedicated Dog Wardens with specific responsibility to engage with dog related issues. Currently Wardens, if they exist, only deal with stray dogs.