PUPILS learned about status dogs at a special workshop held two years to the day since a tragic teenager was mauled by a pack of dogs.
Animal welfare charity Blue Cross launched its RespectaBULL workshop for teenagers with an event at Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, where 14-year-old Jade Lomas-Anderson was a pupil.
Her parents Michael and Shirley Anderson, who helped to create the workshop, also visited the Printshop Lane school to watch the workshop, which covers topics including status dogs and responsible pet ownership.
Blue Cross, in partnership with Jade’s Campaign, have already visited around 80 per cent of the borough’s primary schools teaching pupils about dogs but the Fred Longworth visit marked the start of its work in secondary schools.
Jade’s stepdad Michael said: “With secondary school pupils the workshop can be quite raw and to the point. We show them the pictures of what can happen but it’s also about a whole range of things. Part of the workshop covers a young person who’s got a pit bull and the police take it off him so he has to go to court even though he’s a responsible dog owner. It’s full of invaluable information.
“Going to Fred Longworth was hard, it’s hard every day but it’s important. We’re right at the forefront of it and we’ll always be involved in campaigning. We just don’t want it to happen to someone else.
“We’re always going to have this and nothing will ever be the same, but we’re trying to juggle working on the campaign with some family life.”
Michael said Jade’s Campaign will not be as active in lobbying for change until after the general election, a pause which will also enable them to gather more information about how recent changes to legislation concerning dog ownership work in practice.
He said: “We’ve got some big concerns over it. We and other campaigners think the laws should be in one place, it should be a dedicated dog law, not a community protection notice or part of anti-social behaviour.
“There’s so many avenues to it I think even the police are a bit confused, and how they are going to enforce it with all the cuts I don’t know. I see the police every now and then where I live but I see the same problem as a year ago and two years ago.
“There’s no point having a law that you can’t enforce.”