In the wake of concerns about pit bull terriers being imported to South Holland for illegal dog fights, police say they’re ready to enforce the law on all dangerous dogs.
South Holland District Council dog warden Rachel Thompson revealed on her Facebook page that “a confirmed pit bull” was identified after she was accidentally run over and killed in Spalding’s Hawthorn Bank and that the animal had wounds consistent with fighting. As reported in the Lincolnshire Free Press on Tuesday, animal welfare charity the RSPCA has taken charge of the case, but police are still awaiting official confirmation that the dog was a pit bull.
Police have this week reminded the public that a change in the law gives them greater protection against all dangerous dogs – not just those on the banned list.
Spalding police inspector Jo Reeve said: “Since May 2014, the law has changed in respect of dog attacks on people. The offence of having a ‘dog dangerously out of control’ in a public place no longer only includes instances where someone has actually been bitten.
“If your dog acts in such a way that causes someone to reasonably believe they will be bitten, then this could be sufficient for the offence to be complete and for you, as the owner or person in control of the dog, to be prosecuted.
“The legislation now also covers offences on private property so if a dog attacks a person legitimately visiting you in your garden or within your home then you will still be liable to prosecution. Attacks on service dogs, such as guide dogs, are also now covered and can be punished by up to three years in prison.
“All offences could also result in a court ordering the destruction of the dog in the most serious cases. The safety of the public is always our priority and we would urge anyone who has concerns about a particular animal to speak to us.”
Information to police on 101.