Dog attacks are becoming more frequent in today’s society. Official figures show that in England 7,227 hospital admissions were seen in the past year with under 10s most likely to be injured.
Many children are dying in their homes after being mauled by a family pet. At least 13 children have been killed in the past 10 years which has led to the toughening up of the law. Dog owners now face 14 years in prison if their dog attacks another person.
Unlike other family pets, dogs are pack animals and can react badly to a new baby entering the home. They feel they need to assert their authority which leads to many children being badly hurt or killed.
“Children aged under 10 were most likely to be admitted to hospital after being attacked by a dog”
DogsTrust charity law specialist, Trevor Cooper says that “children aged under 10 were most likely to be admitted to hospital” with children having more injuries on their face than anywhere else.
Many of the dogs in re-homing centres are Staffordshire Bull Terriers. These are one of the most popular dogs in England but statistics show that many people are abandoning them following negative news reports.
DogsTrust spokeswoman Nicky Owen said: “Staffordshire Bull Terriers are fabulous family dogs. The problem is as soon as there is something in the press about a ‘bull’ breed, people who have these breeds get scared and the animal will end up in a re-homing centre such as the DogsTrust.”
Ali Amiri, DogsTrust volunteer.
“children should never be left alone with dogs”.
Dog expert Ryan O’Meara explains that many people can’t read a dogs body language and that “children should never be left alone with dogs” as all dogs have the potential to attack. Experts also warn that dogs have their own minds and can switch at any moment.
- If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for five years and be charged with ‘malicious wounding’.
- If your dog kills someone you can be sent to prison for 14 years.
- If your dog injures an assistance dog you can be sent to prison for three years. In all cases your dog will be destroyed.
Even though there has been a dramatic rise in hospitalisations due to dog attacks, there are measures you can take to prevent these attacks from happening such as;
- Don’t leave your child alone with a dog.
- Don’t approach a dog you do not know.
- Never scream at or run away from a dog.
- Don’t disturb a dog that is asleep, eating or tending to puppies. They are protective and can get easily scared.
- Always let a dog sniff you before petting it.
If you or anyone you know has been affected by dangerous dogs, call 101 and report this to the police.