Park dog walkers alert after akita attack claim
A DOG walker has urged owners to be on their guard after what she said was an unprovoked attack by an akita in Dartmouth Park.
Joanne Best was left shaken by the attack on a friend’s shihtzu, Alfie, last week and has reported the incident to the police and council dog wardens.
Joanne, who lives on Rooms Way, said: “I have reported it but other dog owners need to be aware of this.
“It is quite worrying that a dog like this is allowed out in the park without a lead or muzzle because I understand (from other park users) he has attacked before.”
She explained she had been walking Alfie near the tennis courts when the akita ran at them and grabbed Alfie by the neck.
“Fortunately he is quite fluffy and there is nothing to him so I just lifted Alfie up around head height.
“If Alfie hadn’t been on the lead that dog would have had him, he was just trying to rag him away.
“The owner was shouting but the dog didn’t acknowledge him and he had to come over and physically grab it.”
She took Alfie straight to the vets where he was treated for shock.
A council spokeswoman said there was no specific dog control order on Dartmouth Park but dog wardens do have the power to instruct owners to put their dogs on leads if they are thought to be behaving badly.
Dog control orders, which are meant to reduce nuisance or dangerous behaviour and limit the places where dogs are allowed off the lead, are reviewed every year and the next public consultation is due in September.
Dog attacks come under the dangerous dogs act and are dealt with by the police.
Insp Paul Sullivan of the Morley Neighbourhood Policing Team said both parties had been spoken with and both claimed the other’s dog displayed signs of aggression.
He said: “This case had all the hallmarks of an isolated incident.
“While recognising this can be distressing for individuals concerned, in these minor cases we utilise some common sense and discuss the issues with both owners to help prevent this happening again.”
He added: “I should like to point out that reckless owners who walk their dogs and pose a significant risk to the public will be dealt with under the provisions of the dangerous dogs act.
“The act specifically puts control measures around breeds of dogs, however any dog dangerously out of control in a public area could render the owner liable to prosecution and dog seizure.”
“If you are worried or concerned by any potential dangerous dog behaving aggressively in a public place, please contact the Neighbourhood Policing Team and we will be more than happy to investigate.”
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