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To think the dangerous dogs act needs amending

(68 Posts)
chippy47 Thu 28-Jul-11 22:24:14

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-14331673

As the mother points out, a person can be arrested for an offence in their own home so why not a dog? Mental.

squeakytoy Thu 28-Jul-11 22:29:52

A toddler should not be feeding a dog, ever.

Please also note everyone, this was a West Highland Terrier, not a staffie, or a rottweiller... but a small dog that many people mistakenly assume are sweet little things and wont harm a fly because they are not pictured snarling in a newspaper all the time...

Tchootnika Thu 28-Jul-11 22:33:34

I think DDA is being amended anyway...

A dog can't really have sufficient mental awareness to commit a criminal offence, OP confused

Can you explain why you think DDA needs to be amended?
(FWIW, I think it does, but I'm not sure if it's for the same reasons that you do...)

GlitterySkulls Thu 28-Jul-11 22:37:45

it's a shame for the wee girl, but only an idiot would allow their two-year-old to give treats to a dog they didn't know well & trust 100 %.

Tchootnika Thu 28-Jul-11 22:39:16

I still haven't seen article, but am thinking this is dog attack on private premises?
Surely there are criminal sanctions against this other than under DDA?

Mare11bp Thu 28-Jul-11 22:40:00

Can't open the link. can you re-paste pls OP?

Claw3 Thu 28-Jul-11 22:43:24

The parents and the little girl were invited next door to celebrate THE DOG's 3rd birthday. Surely that would set alarm bells ringing.

squeakytoy Thu 28-Jul-11 22:44:44

alarm bells?

DogsBestFriend Thu 28-Jul-11 22:45:33

Yes, the DDA needs amending.

It needs amending for loads of reasons - for one, someone accused of having a dog which falls foul of the Act is considered in law to have to prove their innocence yet almost all other laws require the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused.

A dog which is merely believed to be a restricted/banned breed may be impounded without proof that he is. He will be taken to a secret location and the owners may not be told where he is much less be able to visit him. He may well - and generally will - stay there for at least a year whilst legal wheels turn.

I have LOADS of reasons for calling for amendments - though I can see argument for disagreeing with yours OP. Because, if your view was to be made law, ALL dogs who bit on private property would be at risk of being killed... including the dog who was protecting his owner against domestic violence or violent burglary.

That doesn't mean that I don't feel for this child but FGS, what were the adults thinking of, allowing a toddler to be that close, with treats, to a dog which isn't even their own and thus well known to them? It beggars belief!

And, as Squeaky said - and she got there first but this was something I wanted to say - please note all you Staffie/Rott/GSD haters/fearers... this was a little Westie, sadly proving what I have always said and often been insulted shouted down about... ANY dog can be a danger when under the control of idiots and it is ALWAYS sensible to ensure that children (or indeed ourselves) aren't allowed to be put in stupid positions.

Tchootnika Thu 28-Jul-11 22:49:11

OK - have had a quick look at the article.
It's very shocking and sad indeed, and looks like very, very irresponsible behaviour.
But - the idea that a dog can be held liable for a criminal act is simply ridiculous - i.e. it suggests that dogs should have legal/moral responsibility in the same way people do. That is simply bizarre and ridiculous.

Surely the owners of the dog/property will be liable as occupiers?
That makes far more sense - surely ? hmm

Claw3 Thu 28-Jul-11 22:54:38

a dog that is treated that preciously is probably not going to have much disclipline, is the feeling i would get.

Tchootnika Thu 28-Jul-11 23:02:08

a dog that is treated that preciously is probably not going to have much disclipline, is the feeling i would get.

Quite possibly true....

But what are the amendments that you'd like to see for DDA?

As I've said, I think it should be amended too - and as ever am grateful to DogsBestFriend who always manges to produce detailed, sensible and very, very reasonable explanations/arguments on dog-related threads...

But Claw3 - what are you arguing for, i.e. what amendments were you (sort of) suggesting in your OP?

DogsBestFriend Thu 28-Jul-11 23:06:20

Hmmm... yes and no Claw3. TBH I've only ever heard of the type of owner you're speaking of but I do know some dogs which you'd probably consider over-indulged who have fantastic, responsible owners.

I'm not one for celebrating the birthdays of mine but in some people's eyes they're spoilt. They sleep on sofas and human beds, they're part of the family, they aren't shut away when visitors call, I wouldn't DREAM of letting them go in order to move to a house which doesn't allow dogs, they are very much part of who I am if you like. BUT, I don't let them run riot, disturb other walkers, let young DC near them without careful supervision etc.

Claw3 Thu 28-Jul-11 23:11:44

Sorry Tchootnika, i wasnt suggesting that dog's having birthday parties should be an amendment, just noting my surprise at it!!

I didnt realise that a dog that attacked, could not be destroyed if it happened on the owners premises, amending this is a shady area ie intruders.

A dog being arrested, is just as bad as having a birthday party for it, its a dog, not a human.

Claw3 Thu 28-Jul-11 23:21:06

Dogsbestfriend, i know of 2 dogs, both staffies, my ex MIL's, they had no disclipline and treated like babies, they were allowed to jump on the table as you were eating dinner, jump all over visitors who sat on the settee etc, etc. They run that house.

Ex MIL "Aww they really like you". They would both chase my ds and knock him to the ground, admittedly they would just try to lick his face. But an accident waiting to happen. We stopped going round there because of the dogs.

Tchootnika Thu 28-Jul-11 23:25:59

grin

I didn't take it that way, Claw3 - grin at thought of banning dog's birthday parties, though!

I'm sure that the owners will be civilly liable.

I don't know how familiar you are with DDA, but it's generally thought of as being an example of some of the worst drafted legislation ever. And not just by dog-people. (Have a look at it on line to see how ridiculously worded, vague and unworkable it is.) As well as that, though, it's generally seen to have done quite a lot of damage in that it supports the idea that certain dogs are inherently 'dangerous' - which in turn potentially takes the responsibility for good training and management away from (some very silly) owners. IYSWIM.

DogsBestFriend Thu 28-Jul-11 23:37:27

The owners CAN take civil action, Tchootnika, yes.

Claw3, two things smile ... firstly, I guess I'm lucky that although I see arsehole owners as a rescuer, I mix with good ones as a result.

Secondly, if you had written that last post and stated that the individuals causing the havoc where Asian you'd be flamed for mentioning it and asked why the feck it's relevant as there is good and bad in all types! wink

I wouldn't have stopped visiting as you did (more confident around dogs perhaps) but I don't go for the jump on the table/knock folk over approach either!

DogsBestFriend Thu 28-Jul-11 23:38:34

WHERE Asian???? I've only had one glass of wine! Tsk! I meant WERE Asian of course!

Claw3 Thu 28-Jul-11 23:39:52

(My ds celebrates all of our animals birthdays, he has moved all of their birthdays to the same day as his, so they can share his cake! but he is only 7)

Im not that familiar with the DDA to be honest, but have to say i agree its dangerous owners, rather than dogs.

Perhaps the DDA shoud include dog training and education for owners, before you are allowed to own a dog.

GlitterySkulls Thu 28-Jul-11 23:43:27

i celebrate my pets birthdays... no party, but they get presents & special food- same as xmas.

Joolyjoolyjoo Thu 28-Jul-11 23:43:51

The thing about the DDA is that it is in places very vague. As DBF says, it does state that any dog which could be "reasonably" perceived to be a threat can be prosecuted under it. The problem is that the police seem to over or underreact, and don't seem very well-versed in their role in it at all, IME. A friend of mine was attacked while out running by a dog that ran out of a house, but the police erroneously told her that, because it wasn't a banned breed there was nothing they could do. Not true. On the other hand they are often overzealous in snatching ANY dog even remotely resembling a banned breed (of which there are very very few in this country- most are crosses, if anything) leading to innocent dogs being impounded.

The act itself does cover most things. It is often the interpretation of it that is at fault, IMO.

DogsBestFriend Thu 28-Jul-11 23:49:56

Problem is too that the DDA is flavour of the year for some (as Jooly says) uninformed police officers. Tonight I spoke to a PC about someone committing a Section 5 offence.

Not particularly interested, certainly not enough to take action.

Had I said that I thought a neighbour's dog was a banned breed, now THAT, IME from rescue and campaign stuff, creates FAR more interest and action, often unwarranted and illogical not to mention not in keeping with the intention of the DDA.

Claw3 Thu 28-Jul-11 23:50:46

Dogs, i mentioned the staffies, so you would get an idea of the size of dog i was talking about, i dont think they are dangerous, most of the ones i have met are as silly as arseholes grin

I think im fairly confident around dogs, been around them all my life. What worried me was there was two of them, they was a lot of rivalry between them and fighting for attention, much like spoilt children.

They would chase cats and rip them to pieces given the chances (they did get hold of one once). Toys one would get hold of one end and the other the other end and they would rip that apart too.

Seeing them over-excited chase my ds down the passage, well you imagine what visions i had and a chance i wasnt prepared to take.

Now if they were well trained, it would have been a different story.

Tchootnika Thu 28-Jul-11 23:51:25

Perhaps the DDA shoud include dog training and education for owners, before you are allowed to own a dog.

If only... if only ...

Training, education, licences... How very, very, very much I wish all of these were compulsory for dog owners!

weimy Thu 28-Jul-11 23:53:32

Arrest a dog? That's mental! It is the owners' responsibility.

dogsbestfriend makes very good points, you can't automatically put down dogs that bite on private property, my dogs prevented me being attacked in my home by a stranger who had a stanley knife.

My dogs get a 'birthday' new collar and chew each year but I also work very hard training them and attend classes each week. I also never leave them alone if my niece visits and never allow her to give them treats.

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