DOG owners whose pets have been savaged by other animals while out walking have banded together to help force a new law due to a spate of incidents across the borough.
On January 4, 70-year-old Raymond Skelly was walking his 12-year-old Yorkshire terrier Suzy through town when she was viscously attacked by huskies.
The attack happened on Cheapside at around 1pm and left Suzy with life-threatening injuries.
Just a few weeks later, lhasa apso Boris was attacked on Dodworth Road by an Akita in an eerily similar attack.
Both dogs have since died from their injuries sustained in the attacks.
The incidents left owners Raymond, and Jayne and Tim Davies shocked and grieving for their pets whom they saw as ‘part of the family’.
However the owners have become angered that there have been no repercussions for the owners of the dangerous dogs responsible for the deaths.
“The day Boris was attacked will stay with me forever,” said Jayne, 54, of St George’s Road, near the town centre.
“My husband took him out for a walk when he said this great big Akita just went for Boris without any warning.
“The dog had Boris in his mouth and was flinging him about.
“When he brought him home, Boris just looked sort of stunned, but then he started to swell up and we rushed him to the vet where he had to have emergency surgery.
“Unfortunately there wasn’t anything the vet could do because his injuries were so extensive – it was like he was crushed from the inside.”
When Jayne reported the owner of the Akita to the police, she said she was told there was nothing they could do because the dog didn’t ‘pose a threat to a human’.
“It’s ridiculous,” she added. “Does that dog need to maul a child before it’s classed as dangerous?”
Now, a petition has been launched to help make dog-on-dog attacks illegal under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Currently they are only illegal if an assistance or guide dog is attacked – and the legislation does not cover attacks on pets.
Clare Hackett organised the petition and has urged residents to help it reach 10,000 signatures where the petition will be discussed in Parliament.
It comes as councillors approved a dog control public space protection order last Thursday, which will require pets across the borough to be on a lead in certain areas.
“I have a Staffy that got attacked a few years ago,” said Clare, 47, from the town centre. “Fortunately my dog walked away with only minor injuries but the incident leave me very wary of other dogs.
“I read about what happened to Suzy and Boris and decided I wanted to do something to help stop other dog owners from going through the same thing.
“At the moment the Dangerous Dogs Act doesn’t cover what happened to Jayne and Tim, or Raymond, and I wanted to do something to help make a change and to try and stop this from happening.
“There should be consequences if your dog attacks or kills another dog just like if a dog attacks a person.”
To sign the petition, click here.