Call for a change in law after Gisleham dog attack

Leah Davis with their surviving dog Titch.Picture: James Bass

Leah Davis with their surviving dog Titch.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

A family is calling for tougher penalties for the owners of aggressive dogs after their pet Chihuahua was attacked and killed by another dog near to their home in Gisleham.

Leah Davis, 16, was walking Chihuahuas Titch and Chloe when a loose Staffordshire terrier began attacking Chloe.

Leah managed to pick up Chloe but the attacking dog managed to snatch her from her arms and went on to cause fatal injuries to the smaller dog.

The incident happened on a field near to the family's home in Dale End on Monday, November 10 at about 2pm.

Chloe was taken to the vets but her injuries were so severe she had to be put to sleep the following evening.

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Titch managed to run home to safety and was unharmed. The police were informed and conditions have been placed on the dog so that it has to be kept under control in a public place.

It is understood this includes keeping the dog muzzled and on a lead in public.

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Leah's mum Kelly Davis said her family had been devastated by the incident and called for stricter penalties for owners whose dogs attack other dogs. She said: 'The owner basically got a slap on the wrist and I don't think it is good enough.

'We have lost a member of our family. My daughter has had quite a few days off college because she is so upset and she is afraid to walk Titch now. I have a son with special needs who has been having night terrors since it happened.

'I have also got a younger daughter who is quite distressed.'

Miss Davis said the owner of the Staffordshire terrier had paid the vet bill and also offered to pay the cremation fees.

She welcomed the restrictions on the dog but said the police were now relying on the public to inform them if the owner breached them.

She said: 'Unless someone reports to them that this man isn't following the restrictions or it attacks somebody else's dog, they can't do anything about it. Yet they have agreed that the dog is dog aggressive. If people don't know the restrictions are in place they won't know if he is breaching them.'

A police spokesman said the conditions had been placed on the Staffordshire terrier under section three of the Dangerous Dogs Act, which relates to a dog being dangerously out control in a public place. She said the investigation was ongoing, the offender could be prosecuted and there were various levels of prosecution available to them. Miss Davis has arranged to meet Mr Aldous next month to discuss the problem.

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