Big rise in number of dog attacks

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Dangerous dog attacks are on the increase, a new report has revealed.

And Wigan has had more than its share.

”The problem of dogs biting people and fighting other dogs is getting worse. Every year the NHS dog bite figures increase, court cases for dangerous dogs are at an all-time high, the government is still failing to tackle the issue of “status dogs”, postal and other delivery workers and assistance dog users are demanding protection.”

David Ryan, a certified clinical canine behaviourist

Nearly a quarter of a million dogs show aggression towards people every week, according to a new study.

The latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report showed that as well as nearly 250,000 dogs acting aggressively towards people each week, over 600,000 dogs are showing aggression towards other pets.

Official statistics published last year showed that hospital admissions for injuries caused by dogs had risen by 76 per cent in England in a decade.

The RSPCA recently claimed the Dangerous Dogs Act in its current form is too wide in its scope.

Recent figures show that Greater Manchester Police has seized more than 300 dangerous dogs since 2013.

Wigan borough residents have witnessed at first hand some of the worst distress caused by dangerous dog attacks, none more so than the tragic case of Jade Lomas Anderson who was mauled to death by four dogs in Atherton in 2014.

More recently a four-year-old in Standish suffered a fractured skull in a dog attack in 2015.

Earlier this year resident Merrielle Hamilton suffered puncture wounds to her hands trying to protect her own dog from a Staffordshire bull terrier.

Later this week a local woman will be sentenced after admitting being in possession of a dog dangerously out of control.

Elizabeth Elliot, 42, pleaded guilty to the charge after her American Bulldog boxer cross jumped up at and bit a neighbour. Elliot, of Albion Drive, Aspull, will learn her fate at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

And in April John Hook, 35, of Car Bank Street, Atherton, pleaded guilty to the same offence after his Staffordshire bull terrier savaged a woman trying to protect her Yorkshire terrier from being attacked by it.

Hook was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay vet bills of £404.58, compensation of £400, a victim surcharge of £60 and costs of £85.

David Ryan, a certified clinical canine behaviourist, said: ”The problem of dogs biting people and fighting other dogs is getting worse.

“Every year the NHS dog bite figures increase, court cases for dangerous dogs are at an all-time high, the government is still failing to tackle the issue of “status dogs”, postal and other delivery workers and assistance dog users are demanding protection.

“Behaviourists like me have case-loads full of biters and fighters.

“No sensible person wants their dog to bite them, anybody else or to fight with other dogs.”