Two dog owners sentenced after their four pets kill chihuahuas in King's Lynn park
PUBLISHED: 07:54 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:23 05 February 2016
A pair have appeared in court for failing to keep four dogs under control after two beloved pet Chihuahua-type dogs were attacked and killed in a King's Lynn park.
Dawn Jackson, of Hillington Square, the owner of the Staffordshire bull terriers, was given a six-week prison sentence, suspended for six months, after admitting her dogs were involved in the brutal attack.
The 42-year-old was also banned from keeping dogs for two years and the court ordered that the animals be destroyed.
King’s Lynn Magistrates heard that she was out walking the Staffordshire bull terriers through the Walks with her friend Mark Keepe, 40, on December 1 last year.
Delia Matthews, prosecuting, said: “Jean Tuck was out on a walk with her two Chihuahuas that were on a lead in the park when she saw a friend and stopped to speak to her.
A few minutes went by and the dogs were still standing by her feet. Without warning, four Staffordshire dogs came from nowhere.”
She explained that one grabbed the first Chihuahua and shook it, and the three other dogs then joined in. Mrs Tuck, 83, and her friend were shouting at them but the attacking dogs’ attention turned to the other Chihuahua.
One was killed at the scene; the other rushed to a vet but later died.
One of the Staffordshire bull terriers had also bitten Mrs Tuck’s ankle, although she was not badly injured.
It was also claimed that Keepe, who also admitted to being in charge of a dangerous dog, did nothing to intervene - but this was denied in mitigation.
Roger Glazebrook, mitigating, explained it was an isolated incident and that Jackson usually took the dogs for walks in pairs but decided to take them out together on this occasion as she had a friend with her for support.
He said: “One of the dogs slipped her collar and got away into the park and wouldn’t come back when called. So they let the other dogs off with the hope that would get them back. Unfortunately they then went and attacked the lady’s dogs. He added: “But both of them [Jackson and Keepe] were kicking and punching their own dogs to try and stop them attacking Jean Tuck’s.”
Magistrates also heard that Jackson relied on her pets to help with her mental health as she suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Meanwhile, Mr Glazebrook said that Keepe, of no fixed abode, suffers from anxiety and depression.
Both appeared in court yesterday charged with being the owner or in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury. Jackson was ordered to pay £200 and Keepe £100 in compensation to Mrs Tuck. Keepe was also fined an additional £200.
When explaining to Jackson that she will be disqualified from keeping dogs, Luc Diorio, chair of the bench, said: “We do not think you are a fit person to have a dog at this point in time.”