A few weeks back I blogged about my frustration with laws surrounding microchipping here. I felt it was a step in the right direction, but didn’t really address dangerous owners as the real issue, and the continuing problem of dangerous dogs being such a threat due to their dangerous owners.
Helen the RSPCA Community Manager got in touch this week with some further developments. If you read my last post about their puppy contract, thank you. More than 1,500 people downloaded the pack which means more puppies with educated owners, hooray!
The latest campaign from the RSPCA is ’42 Teeth’, to tackle the problem of irresponsible ownership. The society believes the Dangerous Dog Act 1991 has failed and there must be a move away from demonising certain breeds.
On this point, I’ve come across a young man on a walk a few times with a, technically, illegal Pitbull cross. But this lad is very polite and pleasant, always stopping for a chat and his dog is a reflection of that. A beautiful bitch who is walked with an elderly Yorkshire Terrier, who loves to play with Lupo and is clearly well looked after and loved – he’s taking the time every day to walk her, which is more than the typical irresponsible owners do.
Did it cross my mind to report him? Yes. But aside from the fact I know nothing about where he lives and I don’t see him regularly, they both made a great impression on me. I know this lad would be devastated to be parted from his dog, whether I agree with her existence in the eyes of the law or not. What worries me most is how that dog gets the right medical care. He can’t just walk into a vet to get vaccinations right?
So I absolutely agree with the RSPCA in that every owner should be responsible for their own dogs actions. Here’s what they propose:
● Most dog attacks happen in the home, but current legislation
doesn’t cover private property, so many irresponsible owners are
not held accountable for attacks.
● Emphasis on prevention by education and engagement.
● Compulsory microchipping and dog registration are vital, but
details must be held in a centrally held government database which is
kept up to date if it is to be effective.
● A comprehensive approach to tackle irresponsible dog ownership that
prevents serious incidents from occurring rather than waiting for them
to happen before action can be taken.
● Measures to improve dog welfare – especially for those that are
seized as part of investigations.
● The abolition or phasing out of Breed Specific Legislation.
The only point I would need clarification on is the first about your own home. Absolutely that should extend to people you invite into your home, what I don’t want is some chancer kids breaking into my home to steal the TV, my dog rightly defending me and my property by attacking them, and as a result my dog gets put down. It’s a grey area, hopefully a judge would understand but I fear human rights might just get in the way in those cases.
Please take 4 minutes out to watch this video to illustrate the campaign. Warning: there are some pretty upsetting scenes.
If that has you asking how can you help make a change, follow this link to submit your details. I have already submitted my response, especially as my beautiful dog has been attacked in past. Don’t let your dog be next. http://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaigns/companion/dogownership/takeaction