For the last 24 hours the news has been full of reports of the death of a 15 year old girl; Jade Lomas-Anderson, in Wigan. Jade was attacked by dogs whilst staying at a friend’s house. Jade was apparently home alone with her friends dogs at the time of the incident. The reports also state that she was eating a meat pie and that only 4 of the 5 dogs in the house were involved – however I am not sure how this information has been confirmed if she was alone? I am currently unable to find any information with regards to the breed of the 5th dog.
The more I hear and read about this, the more difficult it becomes to comprehend. How can something so tragic and horrific be allowed to happen?
I have always been horrified at how easy it is to own a dog. You only need to look at the number of rescue centres all over the country to see how lightly some people take this responsibility.
Dogs are hard work. Especially larger dogs and certain breeds. The dogs involved in this incident were Bull Mastiffs and Staffordshire Bull Terriers – these breeds are notoriously difficult to handle. With the right handler, they can be great dogs, but if the handler isn’t present any dog can become unpredictable.
All dog owners should be responsible for their dog’s actions. Time and energy needs to be spent ensuring they are trained and socialised and have an understanding of what is expected of them, whilst working with in your dogs limitations.
The fact that there were four dogs involved is even more worrying. With out their handler/owner present they will be more unpredictable as a pack. A responsible dog owner will know this. Even if they think there is no chance of their dogs attacking, it is not worth the risk and consequences of being wrong. Dogs are as unpredictable as humans…..how many times have you heard ‘I am so shocked, I have known him/her for years and never knew….’
I know to some it might sound over-the-top to say no visitors to the house unless the owner of the dog is present (and by owner, I don’t mean any family member, but someone with control that the animal respects), but I am afraid that if we keep these types of dogs domestically then that has to be the case. Visitors should also be told about the dogs before their visit and what is expected of them. Time should be put aside at the beginning of the visit to allow the dogs and visitor to meet (if the dogs are not kept separately) and anyone inexperienced, nervous or under 18 should not be left alone with them.
I really believe that it should be made harder to own a dog and that the introduction of the new legislation for all dogs to be micro-chipped is not even a drop in the ocean. Responsible owners and breeders already do this.
I would like to see the introduction of licences issued by the council that you need to apply for every time you get a dog. They should include home checks and contracts to have the animal spayed/neutered, micro-chipped and insured (this may also help put an end to ‘back-yard’ breeders). Maybe even attend classes or a workshop about dog behaviour as part of the process?
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility and shouldn’t be entered in to lightly. If you are not willing to put in the time and effort involved, please don’t mess up a perfectly good animal.
They didn’t ask to be domesticated!