I have no doubt that this does apply to the vast majority of dogs, but I have been shocked by what I have learned about the number of dogs which are far from men’s or women’s best friend.
In the ten years up to last year there were 32 people killed by dangerous dogs in the UK, and this is more than double the number of people killed in the previous decade.
Quite clearly something is going seriously wrong in the control of dangerous dogs in the UK, and bear in mind these fatalities are seldom the owners of the dangerous dogs, invariably it is totally innocent victims – from the age of 83 to a baby only 12 days old.
Let’s now look at another set of statistics. In the years from 1995 to 2016, the UK was fifth (with 56 fatalities) in Europe. Top of the list was Hungary, then France, Romania and Poland. And the figures also show that fatal dog attacks have been increasing significantly over the years, even though there has not been a proportionate increase in the number of dogs.
So far, I have only mentioned the number of people who have been killed by vicious dogs. The number of people seriously injured is huge, and bear in mind that often the injuries are severe or even life threatening. Postal staff suffer the most, with thousands bitten each year.
The saddest case I have read is that of the death of a 12-day-old baby boy who had just been brought home by parents who owned a Chow chow German Shepherd.
The new-born was in a pram in the living room and the mother went upstairs to go, urgently, to the loo. The father and other children were playing in the garden and one of the children noticed the dog was missing.
A search found the dog chewing the baby which had between 30 and 40 puncture wounds. The baby was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries. An inquest concluded the dog caused the injuries while investing what was, to the dog a “strange object.” The husband was jailed for four years for being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog causing injury leading to death.
Can you imagine what that family went through – just because they hadn’t the common sense to realise that there is a serious danger in having a large dog in proximity to a small baby. It should have been a wake-up call to all parents, but sadly it isn’t. All dogs are carnivores, and, in their make-up, are killers. Babies are a good meal!
By now I imagine that many animal lovers are thinking I am anti dog. Well, I have had dogs as part of the family for most of my life, so I think I qualify to make observations over dog ownership.
Too many people rush to acquire a dog without fully appreciating what is involved. As a parent you always have to have eyes at the back of your head – and it’s just the same if you own a dog, because you never really know what they might do.
Take what happened to my step daughter. As a teenager there was a Stafford bull terrier in the household called Titus. The dog was favourite with her and other children who used to take him for walks.
One day, without warning, the dog jumped at her and gored her arm, ripping it very badly. Her brother managed to get the dog away and shut it in the kitchen, where police shot it.
The moral here? You can never trust a dog.
What really angers me is when I hear of stupid macho teenagers and 20 somethings who get a kick out of owning a strong, fierce dog and then encouraging it to be even more fierce. It’s a disaster just waiting to happen.
We wouldn’t allow such a person to own a loaded gun, so why permit him (and sometimes her) to own such an animal?
Take what happened recently – a person owned two Bully dogs which are not (yet) a prohibited breed. The animals escaped from the garden and killed 22 pregnant sheep and seriously injured dozens more. The farmer, quite rightly, shot the dogs. The owner was just fined.
And a fortnight ago an elderly man walking in the street a few miles from where we live in the UK during the summer, was set upon by a dog not on a lead, and seriously injured.
That dog owner should have the book thrown at him. But will he? Probably not. Magistrates and judges need to toughen up and inflict much more severe punishments against owners of dangerous dogs.
And we need parliament to ban far more dangerous breeds and re-introduce dog licences which would deter all those people who want a dog just as some kind of status symbol.
But sadly there are millions of people in Britain who value their beloved dog rather than have human contact, and animal charities will move everything to try to stop laws being toughened. But are we likely to see any change in Britain. Not under the Tories, many whose diminishing numbers of voters are likely to be dog owners.
How many of you have to put up with dogs constantly barking next door? I bet there are many – like us when we are in the UK and also in Spain. Every time a person, someone with a dog, or a vehicle, passes by the dog barks. But their beloved pets can do no wrong and they have become deaf to their annoying animal.
I note that France has banned Muslim girls attending schools dressed in their traditional robes, requiring them to dress conventionally or be banned from school.
Good for them. France has a constitution dividing secular from religious.
It’s about time the UK did the same and also put an end to religious schools where children are brainwashed.
Noticed petrol and diesel prices constantly rising at the pumps this summer, despite politicians trying to claim supermarkets and suppliers are profiteering. They’re not, the problem is the oil producing countries in OPEC deciding to reduce production, which pushes up prices.
The sooner the UK and Europe is self-sufficient and not dependent on anyone else for as much as possible, the better. And yes, we want to extract our own gas and oil as long as we need it, and not priced on international markets, and to hell to anyone who says we shouldn’t.
An alleged terrorist, in prison on remand has escaped in the UK. He is alleged to have sympathies with the Middle East and yet he was serving in the British Army. What the hell is going on? The big question is…have we got an enemy within the UK armed services? Scary or what? I have no doubt that he is in hiding within the vast Muslim community In Britain.
Why was that not the number one question in Parliament this week, rather than Sunak claiming that there were many more escaped prisoners when Labour last in power? Bet they weren’t alleged terrorists.