Microchip plea as danger dog disappears

A dangerous dog which attacked two people in the street has "disappeared" after being moved between several different owners without the authorities being told.

A dangerous dog which attacked two people in the street has "disappeared" after being moved between several different owners without the authorities being told.

Animal welfare charities said they were concerned by the case and called for new legislation to be introduced to ensure comprehensive records of dogs and their owners are kept.

The case came to light at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court where a Bungay woman was due to appear to be told what would happen to her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, after it had been declared a dangerous dog at an earlier hearing.

Michelle Cabel, 27, of Throckmorton Road, failed to turn up, but evidence was produced which indicated the two-year-old dog, called Jack, had been owned by a least two other people and had now disappeared.

The case took another twist after it emerged that while Cabel had told police she had received the dog from the Meadowgreen Kennels and Rescue Centre, near Loddon, in Norfolk, this was not the case and it had initially been taken on by one of her neighbours.

Peter Davison, also of Throckmorton Road, decided he was no longer able to look after Jack and passed him on to Cabel, without informing Meadowgreen.

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A letter from the owners of Meadowgreen, read out at Thursday's hearing, said that Cabel was the mother of two young children and Jack would, therefore, not have been regarded suitable for re-homing with her.

Sophie Wilkinson, spokes-man for the RSPCA in the eastern region, called for new laws to ensure records of dog owners were kept. She said: "We would like to see everybody have their pets microchipped, which we think would be as effective as anything. The trouble is there aren't any legal restrictions on moving animals and, at the moment, people don't need to notify anyone of a change of ownership."

Jack was being walked by a 13-year-old girl, who often helped Cabel with dog-walking duties, when he slipped his lead and attacked couple Rita Rusted and Thomas Flatt in Throck-morton Road. They both needed hospital treatment for cuts to their hands after they tried to protect their West Highland Terrier, which had also been attacked by Jack on January 2.

Magistrates said they had no option but to dismiss the case, which would almost certainly have seen them implement a control order.