Irresponsible dog owners make others pay the price.
I commented further on Rescuedrover’s blog.
I had a very bad experience once. A client called me after her medium-sized dog, who was on-lead, standing still in a park, was rushed at by three LWDs (little white dogs) who were off-lead, and really got in her face. She grabbed one of them in her mouth, shook it and then dropped it. Unfortunately, the little dog died from internal injuries. Obviously, this is not good, as the dog did not have good bite inhibition. The grab, although brief, must have had considerable force.
These three little dogs were often off-lead, including in the street where my client lived, just a few houses away from the entrance to the park. They would run out of the park and up my client’s driveway, where they would rush at the fence and bark at the dog who was behind the fence, in her back yard. So my client’s dog was used to being harassed by these three. This may be why she finally lashed out.
My client was horrified at the incident and paid the other owner’s vet bills. She was still charged with having a dangerous dog, which under our legislation is very onerous.
At the hearing, the chairperson conceded that she was a responsible dog owner, and that the other owner had been at fault. However, she asked the veterinary behaviourist who was an expert witness, whether he could guarantee that if the dog was tied up outside a shop, and a child rushed up and “got in her face”, the dog would not bite the child. Of course, he had to say no, he could not guarantee that. Of course he couldn’t. No-one can ever guarantee that a dog will not bite under certain circumstances. However, the dog had never shown any sign of aggression towards humans. As a result of that answer, the dog was declared dangerous. On those grounds, every dog in the country could be declared dangerous, without having done anything.