snapshot-2014-09-16-10-34-16This afternoon, I was walking my dog in the first sunshine of the day, when an incident occurred that left me reeling. My dog is called Charlie. He is an eight year old Cocker Spaniel who wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s gentle and loving and is adored by everyone.

As I strolled along a lane near to my home with my hubby, I saw a young woman – in her thirties, I would guess – coming towards me. She was accompanied by a small child and a dog – a brown Staffy (Staffordshire Bull terrier). I heard the child warn her mother. The woman replied: ‘He’ll do what he wants to…’

Instinctively, I pulled Charlie into me. As I did so, the woman hurled a stick in our direction and the dog ran towards us, picked up the stick and charged at Charlie, who terrified, began to bark. Hubby suggested she put the Staffy on the lead. The woman then began a fifteen minute tirade of verbal abuse to both of us.

The vitriol that came out of her mouth, in front of her child was unbelievable. We were shaken and when we got home, called our Community Policeman and local council to report the incident. The law is quite clear about dogs. Gov.UK states the following on their web page:

1. Overview

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:

  • in a public place
  • in a private place, eg a neighbour’s house or garden
  • in the owner’s home

The law applies to all dogs.

Out of control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them

A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if either of the following apply:

  • it attacks someone’s animal
  • the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

I certainly was afraid that the Staffy would attack my dog and the attitude of the owner did little to allay my fears. My local council rep was helpful. Hopefully, a notice will be put up to tell owners that dogs must be on the lead when walked on that lane.

There was something about the way that woman yelled as us that made me think there was more to her abuse than just the issue of her dog. The world is not a nice place any more. The young are under huge pressure, are in debt, cannot get homes or jobs and are angry. Today, that young woman focused her anger on me and my husband and her daughter witnessed it…