PAW PATROL We must keep dog owners on a tighter leash to protect pets
Ihave taken great pleasure from taking our two dogs, Sparky and Molly, for walks over the past few months. During lockdown, we would walk a two-kilometre circle around our house, but as restrictions eased we ventured farther.
We've been to Howth, Portmarnock, Skerries, Rush and Lusk in the past few weeks.
As an animal lover, you can imagine my shock when I heard of a dog being so viciously mauled last weekend that it died from its injuries.
On my show on 98FM yesterday, a woman named Denise told me she was walking her Jack Russell-Chihuahua Becky through the Chapel Farm area of Lusk last Saturday.
Out of nowhere, a hefty Akita, which is many times bigger, made a beeline for Becky and savaged the defenceless little.
Denise stood there screaming hysterically as her pet was mauled to within an inch of its life.
The Akita's owner strolled along and, with no shame or apology, took his dog and headed off.
That night, little Becky took her last breath in her owner's arms. The vet said she most likely died from internal injuries.
I would love to publish the photo I have of Becky after the attack so you could see the severity of her injuries, but it's just too graphic.
What's even more shocking is that another little dog, named Rosie, was also attacked in the same area, around the same time, by the same dog.
There's video evidence of the attack on Denise's dog. Gardai know the name of the dog's owner, but here's the part that's really annoying: there's nothing the guards can do, because a member of the force didn't witness the attack.
Besides that, even if an officer had witnessed it, they can do nothing by law about one dog killing another as dog-on-dog attacks are a "civil matter".
Unfortunately, attacks by dogs on the so-called restricted breeds list (which are meant to be muzzled and on a lead at all times) are far from rare.
Only a few weeks ago, a woman named Helena told me her Yorkshire terrier Luna died following a vicious attack by a German Shepherd on Alfie Byrne Road.
Again, the dog's owner didn't give a damn. Little Luna also died of her injuries.
This can't be allowed to continue. It's time for an urgent review of the 34-year-old Control of Dogs Act.
We need to introduce more severe punishment for owners who don't control dangerous dogs, and dog-on-dog attacks should become a punishable offence.
Owners need to be held to account when their animal att-acks another.
Witnessing these attacks is horrific for the owners.
Sadly, it seems to be water off a duck's back for the irresponsible owners of the vicious dogs.
They need to be prosecuted when their dogs attack, injure or kill a helpless family pet.
With dog ownership comes responsibility, and there should be consequences if owners don't live up to that.