OUR SAY: Dangerous dog has no place in public

A DOG with the strength and determination to pull an adult off her feet and drag her several metres along the ground as it attacked a much smaller dog has no place in a public space.

There are plenty of dog breeds where the mature animals weigh in at 30 or more kilograms and have the strength to do just this, but what stops them is training.

Training, and owners with enough sense to know whether they or others who might walk the dog can command its obedience if it wanted to break free.

The owner of a large dog that dragged her off her feet and mauled a family pet is probably carrying some nasty grazes as a result, but the outcome could have been much worse.

The dog that was attacked could have suffered even worse injuries. Its owner or indeed the owner of the attacking dog could have been badly bitten trying to separate the animals.

Worse still, a child in the popular Elephant Park might have been involved, with horrific consequences.

POLL AND STORY: FINE TIME FOR DOG CONTROL

STORY: OWNER OUTRAGE AS PET ATTACKED IN PARK

The attack last Sunday underlines the necessity for dog owners to have effective control of their dogs when out of their yards.

It is not enough to put a dog on a lead and hope it will behave, or that you will win the tug-o-war if it tries to break free. That is a recipe for disaster.

The Companion Animals Act and council regulations are quite specific; the responsibility for control of a dog and for the injuries it causes to other animals or people rests fairly and squarely with the dog owner.

The responsibilities of dog ownership do not begin and end with feeding, yarding and occasionally walking them. Every dog owner has a responsibility to train and socialise their pet and be totally confident they can control it in all circumstances.

Heavy fines are appropriate for dog owners who neglect their legal responsibilities to the community and to their own pets.

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