UNPROVOKED dog attacks – and anti-social behaviour from dogs and their owners – are on the rise in Stratford.
Stratford District Council’s dog warden Lisa Parkes says there has been a surge in the number of complaints about dogs being allowed to roam off their leads and even attacking other dogs in recent weeks.
There are currently no Dog Control Orders in operation within the district – a situation Lisa is keen to maintain.
But, following the recent rise in reports of attacks, she is appealing to dog owners to invigilate themselves, to keep aggressive dogs under control and to be responsible owners in general – with particular regard to cleaning up their pet’s mess.
As part of this clampdown she is also urging people to be aware of, and involved in, the Yellow Dog Project – a scheme which sees dogs having a yellow ribbon attached to their leads to indicate they need space.
She said: “Dog walking has become something of a problem recently. I’ve received calls with people reporting attacks on their pets, reports of dog muck, dogs running amok while oblivious owners use their mobile phones and dogs nipping unsuspecting members of the public.
“It is wonderful to allow dogs to roam free through public parks and open spaces, but they need to be taught to remain close by and have an effective recall should they wander.
“In an ideal world, owners would pop their dogs on leads before passing, or at least call their dog back to allow as much space as possible and to act as a barrier between the dogs.”
Lisa is also advising people to remember that not all dogs get along.
She added: “Don’t expect everybody to love your dog as you do – it doesn’t matter how well-behaved they are, you have no idea about the character of any other dog it may encounter and your dog could easily run up to someone with a genuine fear.
“With some common courtesy, consideration and mutual respect, dog walking can remain a pleasurable pastime.”
The rise in reports of anti-social dog behavior comes just weeks after two gravely ill pups were discovered wandering near Shipston.
It is believed the two terrier-type dogs – who have since been named Sybil and Sylvie – were used for breeding.
Both pups were virtually unrecognisible from hair loss with one suffering from seizures and needing to have her eyeball removed.
And while Lisa hopes the simple steps above can be used to help reduce the number of dog related anti-social behaviour incidents, she is keen to remind people that dog-on-dog attacks and dog attacks on people should be reported to the police.
Visit www.stratford.gov.uk for further information about the dog warden or call 101 if you are a victim of a dog attack.