A woman in Southborough says she wants more action from the authorities to combat irresponsible dog owners after she was bitten on the face and arms by a large dog.
The victim was subjected to an unrelenting attack from the dog – which was not on its lead and out of control – in the woods in Southborough Common on January 12th.
The injuries required hospital treatment. But despite initial suggestions by a police officer that the owner of the dangerous dog could be ordered to have it muzzled and put on a lead in public, the police now say no civil action can be enforced.
In a statement to Southborough News on Monday, the police said the matter had been dealt with by a so-called “community resolution.”
The dog that caused the injuries was a fox red Labrador called Liska (pictured below with the woman who was walking the Labrador). The dog was in season at the time.
The Labrador initially appeared friendly, but then circled the victim’s own smaller dog – before the Labrador closed its jaws on the smaller dog.
To save the life of her own small dog, the woman then lifted her dog into her arms and walked away, but the Labrador went after them.
The Labrador then repeatedly leapt up to try to attack the small dog and the victim. The woman victim (her injured face shown below) eventually managed to grab the collar of the Labrador and its owner finally put the Labrador on a lead.
The police promised to visit the home of the Labrador’s owner but no such visit appears to have taken place. The officer who spoke to the victim now says no civil orders to muzzle dangerous dogs can be enforced by either the police or dog wardens.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has been notified, but apparently not the owner of the woods which is Southborough Town Council.
Kent Police were asked for a statement on the incident last Thursday and provided one today from Inspector Ian Jones of the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Unit, which was as follows: “Kent Police received a report of a dog attacking another dog at around 10.45am in Southborough Common on Thursday 12 January 2022. The owner of the dog that was harmed also sustained injuries, which required hospital treatment.”
The statement continues: “Kent Police takes reports of this nature extremely seriously and investigations can result in animals being seized and cases pursued through the courts, which ultimately may lead to the animal being destroyed. However, we always keep victims’ wishes at the heart of our decision-making and sometimes they don’t want to pursue a prosecution. In this eventuality, a community resolution is another outcome favoured by some victims.”
“A community resolution is an agreement between the victim and offender, facilitated by the police, to resolve matters through communication and education. In this instance, officers visited the victim to discuss the incident, where it was agreed that the best course of action would be to give the dog owner words of advice, including how to keep their dog under control.”
“Officers spoke to the owner of the other dog to advise how best to prevent further incidents, making them aware of the potential consequences should they not have control of their animal.”
The statement concluded: “We encourage all dog owners and walkers to safeguard themselves. When out walking, keep your phone charged and switched on, avoid areas known to be used by unleashed animals, and walk with others if possible. If you come across a dog you are concerned about, avoid them or walk the other way, and contact the local dog warden.”
In a separate recent attack in Tunbridge Wells, a man’s Dachshund dog was killed by another out-of-control dog.