The day my puppy was ripped apart by a devil dog


Victim: Kieren Guess suffered horrific facial injuries in the attack

At this moment, a two-year-old boy is lying terribly wounded in hospital after being savaged by his neighbour’s dog.
Keiron Guess’s injuries are horrific: one of his ears and most of his nose were ripped off; a chunk was reportedly bitten from of the back of his head and there were bite marks all over his face.
Despite the skill of reconstructive surgeons, Keiron will probably be scarred for life. And who can predict how the shock and trauma of the attack will affect him in years to come?
The Staffordshire bull terrier responsible for his ordeal has rightly been destroyed.
If only it were as easy to eliminate the toxic inconsistencies of the Dangerous Dogs Act, passed in haste 21 years ago. I fear that until we reform this badly-constructed piece of legislation, there will be many more cases like Keiron’s.

Devoted: Bienvenida with one of her spaniels

My interest is more than the natural compassion most of us feel when a child is hurt. I don’t presume to compare my experience with the one suffered by Keiron and his family, but I have my own reasons for wanting the Act - which has allowed killer dogs to flourish - to be overhauled. Less than a month ago, my beloved Cavalier King Charles puppy was ripped to pieces by another dog.
Upsetting though it is even to write those words, I passionately want to expose the continuing risk posed by irresponsible owners who view their animals not as companions - but as weapons.
My five-month-old puppy Chanel (I couldn’t resist the name), was being walked by a trusted friend, as she has done before, near my home in Liverpool while I was in London for the weekend. The park they chose is popular with families for its children’s playground. It could just as easily have been a toddler who was mauled.

Fierce reputation: Staffordshire bull terriers can attract the wrong type of owner, who will regard a dog as a weapon rather than a companion (File photo)

The attacker was a dark brindle Staffordshire bull terrier crossbreed which came out of nowhere - no owner or collar in sight - and closed in immediately.
There were none of the usual preliminaries that happen when dogs meet, such as circling or sniffing. It simply tore my pet apart. She didn’t stand a chance.
The speed and extreme brutality of the attack make me believe this creature had been trained to fight and destroy, possibly using live animals as bait.
My traumatised friend called the police, who have been nothing but helpful and supportive. But by then the bull terrier had fled and there was little they could do.
I have logged DNA samples from the bite marks with the veterinary unit at Liverpool University so we can prove what animal carried out the attack if the matter ever comes to court. I still hope to track down the culprit but, so far, we have nothing.
Any animal lover will understand the pain the loss of a beloved pet has caused. My last two dogs, also Cavalier King Charles spaniels, lived to be 14 and 16 and I have always believed that once you accept ownership of a pet, you are obliged to treat it with love and respect.

Dangerous: One of the two Staffordshire bull terriers kept by the Guess family's neighbours was destroyed after Kieron was attacked

Above all, you are also obliged to make sure it is never, ever a danger to others.
The selfish young men - and they nearly always are young men - who keep powerful dogs only as status symbols to intimidate those around them are so busy strutting around the place that they forget about the welfare of the dog or anyone else in society. They are not fit to be in charge of another living being.
The Dangerous Dogs Act was passed in haste in 1991 after a spate of violent dog attacks made the headlines. Its recommendations were vague and ill-considered - and the whole Act little more than a rushed sop to public anxiety.
Yes, it banned the breeding or selling of fighting dogs, namely the Japanese tosa and pit bull terrier, but its definition of what constitutes ‘dangerous’ behaviour was alarmingly loose - and, thus,unenforceable.

Innocent victim: Ellie Lawrenson was just five when she was killed in a brutal dog attack in 2007

In short, the sanctions against the owners of dogs which snarl and snap, strain at the leash and intimidate neighbours should be far stricter.
I believe that the police should have the right to shoot dogs with a tranquiliser on the spot if they are out of control.
The owners of dogs that savage people or other animals in unprovoked attacks should without question be sent to jail. The dogs themselves, unfortunately, are best destroyed if they have reached that level of viciousness.

source: dailymail