Dog on the Move

Chorley girl traumatised after Staffordshire Bull Terrier assaults her and her eight-month-old English Golden Retriever pet

Vanessa Alvarez was strolling Maisie, a cream English Golden Retriever, on a patch of grass in Oxford Avenue final fortnight when the offending canine was let off its lead by its proprietor and launched itself on the pet.

The unprovoked assault left Maisie with an roughly 10 centimetre chunk wound on her shoulder and a scratch to her eye, the previous resulting in surgical procedure resulting from problems. Her proprietor additionally required stitches after being bitten whereas making an attempt to pressure the Staffy off her pet.

Vanessa, 30, stated: “We now have a traumatised canine. I’m traumatised myself. I hold reliving it. I consider when it occurred, and seeing my canine struggling time and again makes me upset. I’m struggling to get her out of the home. She’s petrified and so am I.”

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Vanessa Alvarez together with her canine Maisie who was attacked by one other canine while she was taking her out for a stroll in Chorley. Photograph: Kelvin Stuttard

Recalling the assault, she added: “I’m 100% positive the canine’s proprietor noticed us and took it off the lead. It went straight for mine and wouldn’t let go.

“We managed to get them on the ground and I used to be punching this different canine. I used to be screaming my lungs out. Ultimately, it let go and we went house.

“The proprietor didn’t apologise. He simply stored saying his canine had by no means carried out that earlier than.”

How has the assault impacted Vanessa and Maisie’s every day life?

Maisie was attacked by one other canine while out for a stroll together with her proprietor Vanessa Alvarez. Photograph: Kelvin Stuttard

Vanessa stated: “Maisie’s not herself as a result of she’s in ache. She doesn’t need to eat so now we have to hand-feed her, and the antibiotics are making her really feel unusual. It’s horrible to see my canine in such ache.”

The pair have now lowered their twice every day walks from an hour to only 5 minutes as they concern being focused once more.

In the event that they see somebody, Vanessa added: “Maisie tries to get between my legs and now we have to return house as a result of she refuses to maneuver.

“She’s upset and barely needs to go wherever. I don’t need to be round any canine – what if it occurs once more?

The park the place Maisie was attacked off George Avenue, Chorley. Photograph: Kelvin Stuttard

“Maisie was a really blissful pet earlier than this occurred and preferred being near folks however now she’s caught to my leg.

“She’s traumatised and there’s nothing I can do to make her higher.”

How are authorities serving to the pair?

Vanessa believes the police don’t take dog-on-dog assaults critically sufficient, saying: “It’s simply irritating as a result of I’m not getting any info from them. I don’t suppose they’re going to do something as a result of it’s dog-on-dog.

Vanessa Alvarez whose canine Maisie was attacked by one other canine while she was taking her out for a stroll in Chorley. Photograph: Kelvin Stuttard

“It could be like if somebody randomly punched me within the face and nothing was carried out. I don’t suppose there’s something in place to punish the proprietor or defend my pet from different canine.

“It leaves you a bit hopeless, and I’m scared it may occur once more. It will get dismissed and swept below the carpet. Maisie deserves greater than that. It’s upsetting that she’s not going to get justice as a result of she’s a canine and no one cares however she’s a member of my household and this shouldn’t have occurred within the first place.

“We would like some type of justice. I don’t suppose [the Staffy] must be on the road or out with no muzzle. I don’t suppose it must be put down as a result of it’s not the canine’s fault however I feel the proprietor must be fined.

“What if it had bitten a toddler? They might have misplaced an arm. These canine have very robust jaws.

“Folks ought to have their canine on leads round different animals because it’s not well worth the danger.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman says queries are ongoing.

Maisie was attacked by one other canine while out for a stroll together with her proprietor Vanessa Alvarez. Photograph: Kelvin Stuttard

In the meantime, an Govt Member of Chorley Council for Early Intervention, claims an animal welfare officer is investigating the incident.

Coun Bev Murray, stated: “We have been alerted to the allegation final week and our Animal Welfare Officer has been involved with the one that has made the claims to debate and acquire needed details about the alleged incident. As soon as obtained, our group will assessment and take the suitable motion.”

What powers do police have for punishing irresponsible canine homeowners?

It’s unlawful for a canine to be dangerously uncontrolled in every single place, together with contained in the proprietor’s house, or to assault an help canine.

Police can cost offenders with both non-aggravated or aggravated assault for dog-on-human assaults. The latter includes bodily hurt and carries both a high quality or a jail sentence of as much as 14 years if the attacked individual dies.

If prosecution succeeds, the courtroom can order the offending canine to be destroyed.

Regardless of these powers, officers penalised simply 57 canine homeowners throughout central Lancashire from 2017 to 2020, an FOI reveals. Some 28 have been in Preston, 24 have been in South Ribble, and 5 have been in Chorley.

Prosecutions plummeted by greater than 60 % total over the identical interval, and by 80 % in South Ribble.

Prosecutions usually fail as a result of victims can not determine the wrongdoer, says authorized professional Carrie Gilgun, of Forbes Solicitors, Preston.

How many individuals have been bitten by canine in Chorley, Preston and South Ribble?

They fell by greater than 10 % in Preston and simply over 5 % in South Ribble throughout the identical interval however soared by round 50 % in Chorley.

There have been 175 hospitalisations for canine assaults in Lancashire in 2018-19, having steadily elevated by round 17 % since 2014-15 from 150. However they fell by round 11 % (155) in 2020-21.

What powers do councils have?

Councils take care of canine assaults on different animals and may implement public areas orders. Canine are usually not allowed in public youngsters’s play areas, and must be stored on leads on roads, footways and grass verges.

Council officers have the ability to serve and prosecute canine homeowners for breaching Group Safety Notices, and may seize aggressive animals.

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