It’s been quite quiet over here recently but that’s not because nothing has been going on in the world of Luna Pie Whippet. There’s been lots of fun times and walkies and general fun, Christmas, New Year, but there was also a nasty incident with Luna being attacked by another dog, which is what I want to talk about today.
We had no idea what to do at the time and what we could do afterwards and we’ve learned a lot so I thought it may be useful to pass this information on.
It all started on a Saturday afternoon. Luna’s mumwas talking her out for a normal walk in an area of Altrincham that we’ve been plenty of times before. After a great walk and plenty of whippet zoomies and playing they were on their way home when a strange dog that we’d not seen before came running up to Luna. Luna was on lead and the other dog was off lead. The other dog was a staffy/staffy-cross, which is a shame because these lovely dogs have such a stigma attached to them these days as being aggressive a vicious dogs, which by nature they are not. It’s largely down to their upbringing and the way in which they are treated. This dog came up to Luna and started bothering her. The owner was asked to get their dog on a lead as it was bothering Luna who was quite uncomfortable. The owner declined to put their dog on a lead saying it was a friendly dog. No sooner had her uttered those words than the dog started biting and going at Luna.
With her being on lead she was unable to run away and Luna’s mum had to try and pick her up to remove her from the danger. The owner eventually got their dog on lead (whilst trying to control another same-breed dog which had started barking and acting aggressive, but that one was on the lead to start with). It only probably happened for a minute or so, but in that time, Luna suffered numerous bite wounds, and Luna’s mum also got bitten on her hand. Both were dripping with blood.
The other owner first tried to suggest that Luna had attacked his dog and the blood dripping from its mouth was from an imaginary wound that Luna had caused, but after seeing the state of Luna and her mum he soon became worried. He gave his phone number and then quickly left the scene.
Once I was called I came running down to see both visibly shaken and hurt. Luckily a friend was close by when I got there and quickly took us to the vet. Thankfully Luna’s wounds were only surface punctures and nothing serious, but she needed antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs to make sure the wounds did not get worse. One £75 bill later we were on our way home.
We called the owner and remarkably he had given his real phone number. He admitted fault and agreed to reimburse the vet fee. Unfortunately after this phone call we never heard from him again and he never answered any phone calls or text messages ever again.
This is where we became a bit stuck – what could we do?
First of all we reported the incident to the Police. After all, not only was it a violation of the Danger Dogs Act but it had also caused injury to a human. The Police could not have been less helpful. It took us a while of being passed around for anybody to take any details. They said they would investigate the incident and after three weeks we finally got a call back (after chasing them regularly every couple of days) and the policeman said (and I quote!!) that he went round and the dogs did not react to him or act aggressively towards him so he was closing the case. I mean that is ridiculous. The dog had acted aggressively towards Luna initially, not another human. We felt very left down by the local police in this regard due to a) a lack of care about the incident, and b) a lack of care in their duty to protect the public. The owner and his dogs are well-known in the local dog-walking community as being aggressive to other dogs, and one of his dogs had attacked and badly injured another dog in April of this year. The poor dog in question had lost an eye as a result of the attack. The incident had been reported, but the victim had not known the identity of the owner because the fled the scene. In failing to remove this owner’s dogs that are clearly dangerous, they are leaving open the possibility that somebody could be more seriously hurt in future, and what happens when it’s a child that is hurt? In terms of the Police there is not much more we could do, but at least the owner’s name, address and dogs were now in the Police system so if/when something does happen in the future, there is a record and it will not be a first-time offence.
We also called the local dog warden and RSPCA and informed them of the issue. They said they had taken note of it but due to what happened it was the Police that had to deal with it due to the injuries sustained.
Out of pocket
After all this we were still out of pocket from the whole incident and we now turned our attention on how we could try and reclaim this. Small claims was out first point of call, but we were advised that with the Police closing the case this would not help us and it would only be one word against the other so it would not be advisable to open a case because the risk of not winning was too high. We were told of another option called CICA. This is where we could claim for criminal injuries caused Luna’s mum. We have applied for this and are waiting to hear back from them but we were told it could take up to a year to play out. If we’re unsuccessful we do not lose anything or have to pay anything so we had nothing to lose. It’s just a big shame that any monies that would be paid out would not come from the owner. After all of this he has gotten away with everything AGAIN. I believe that something needs to be done about the irresponsible dog owners out there; the ones that do not control their dogs and those that abuse them creating these aggressive and dangerous dogs.
Thankfully the main things after all this is that Luna made a full and quick recovery and Luna’s mum’s hand healed quickly with no major complications. It did get infected requiring antibiotics (more cost!), but I guess you cannot put a price of your health! After the attack Luna has become a lot more wary of strange dogs – she will bark and stand her ground if a dog she doesn’t know runs over to her, even if they’re innocent and wanting to say hello and be friendly which is a massive shame. It’s clearly knocked her confidence and it’s something we’re working on improving and helping her to trust other dogs again.
What we learned
The overall points we learned are:
- Make sure you try to get the details of the other owner in a case of a dog attack. You’ll need them to report the incident and to try and reclaim any fees for vets etc.
- Make sure you report the incident to the Police, RSPCA and dog warden. Even if you get nowhere its better to have the incident on file
- Read into the CICA and see if it’s something you may be eligible for. You do not necessarily need legal help to apply for this but it’s worth getting in touch with a local solicitor to see if they can help and take care of all the paperwork for you!
Stay safe puppers, doggos and owners! 😀