A 14-year-old school girl was found dead at her house in Atherton near Wigan yesterday, Police say her injuries were "consistent with having been attacked by dogs". The culprits in this latest dog attack, according to Manchester Police, were Bull Mastiffs and a couple of Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Surely now it's time to get rid of Britain's weapon dogs.
You think I am joking? Well I wish I was, but on estates across Britain the yobs weapon of choice these days are deadly pack animals ready to be unleashed on their victims with devastating effect.
With their big beefy heads, powerful jaws and a near bald coat, the Bull Mastiffs and their ilk are looking for a scrap. Stick on a heavy studded collar and a thick choke-chain and, apart from the eighteen-lace DM’s and turned-up drainpipes, this dick-head of a dog wouldn’t look out of place at a BNP rally.
Take the killing of Seyi Ogunyemi in 2010 when a group of Lambeth youths set their dogs on him before stabbing him to death. This was the first case of its kind in Britain where a gang has used dogs to bring down its victim and it’s unlikely to be the last. Then there’s four-year-old Paul Massey mauled to death in Liverpool by the family dog while granny baby-sat. Just this week, another illegally owned "Staffy" ripped into a six-year-old in front of her parents while they tried out a new telescope in the park.
In January last year an illegally owned Staffodshire Bull Terrierattacked and ripped the ear off a six-year-old. The little girl, was walking with her Mummy and Daddy in a London Park and had stopped to try out her new telescope when the attack happened. This dog attack happened in Woodburry Way at Pole Hill, North-East London. Sounds peaceful doesn’t it? Woodbury Way. But it wasn't peaceful on Saturday, because Gary Hindley's mad dog circled the family then repeatedly attacked the child "like a shark" the victims father said.
This latest mauling in Manchester is a stark reminder that something need to be done to protect Britain's children from marauding packs of dogs.
Other than some vague mutterings by the Coalition about amending the Dangerous Dogs Act, these cases have caused little more than a murmur across dog besotted Britain. Infants torn apart by dogs are quietly forgotten and it’s “business as usual” for Staffordshire Terrier/Bull Mastiff’s like the one that brought down sixteen year old Seyi.
The tabloids, ravenous for gruesom and salacious stories salivate when a toddler goes missing, or better still (for them) killed and, as predictable as Pavlov’s dogs, they wheel out the usual suspects: the loners, paedophiles, and the born-evil kids from the council estate. We never hear the end of it, but when the killing is done by a Staffordshire Terrier, the dog most likely to be waddling, tongue out with his owner swaggering off to buy his “red-top”, we hear nothing, well not much.
OK, an amended act giving local authorities the power to muzzle and castrate would be a start, but, to be fair, that too has it's moral downside. A dog without balls isn’t really a dog at all and if some on the far right of the anti-dog brigade had their way, dogs wouldn’t even be able to bark for muzzling. Not much of a life is it? All that would be left for “man’s best friend” to amuse itself would be to aimlessly urinate against every conceivable lamppost and dump turds on the pavement.
It’s not as if the legislation isn’t there to protect children already, it’s just that current dog law doesn’t work. Yes, all dogs, even a Chihuahua (once the Home Secretary has got around to considering it) can be put to death by law, but by the time the barbarous nature of the dog comes to light it’s often too late. Except for the likes the banned Japanese Tosa’s and the Pit Bull Terrier, the 1991 Act is not properly protecting the public from dog attack.
A new mooted Dangerous Dogs Act is expected to create new laws empowering the police to whip the nuts off deviant dogs at the first sniff of trouble, but do we really want eunuch dogs as companions? There must be a better way for councils to keep the public safe without resorting to this kind of cruelty. Routine castration has its supporters no doubt. Like the well-to-do owner I witnessed rugby tackling a mongrel and wrestling it off her perfect Labrador. Two wrongs don’t make a right, however, even f the randy ill-bred ruffian was doing his very upmost to contaminate her pure Lab' pedigree genes.
The fact is that unless dogs are killing foxes most of our MPs are not very interested. In the last Parliament 700 hours were spent debating the English middle-class penchant for sending dogs into battle against foxes, but when a child is ripped apart by dogs in Nana's front room, our MP’s do next to nothing.
It’s no good appealing to the owners for reason either - they’re too much in love. Listen to Staffy owner Lauren Smith: “I have always been around dogs since I was little, mainly King Charles, last year me and my partner bought a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He is no different from any other dog I have had before, it’s all about the owners; if you train your dog right then your dog will be a brilliant pet.”
Train your dog? Yeah right... Why should we listen to sycophantic dog owners anyway, people who, for one reason or another, are so dissatisfied with their own species that they prefer relationships with pets.
I’ll be honest; I doubt that it’s possible to reverse thousands of years of evolution to tame the teeth in a Staffy’s gormless gob. After all, if dogs are so easy to train then why haven’t their owners ever been able to persuade them to scoop up their own crap? You can scarcely walk anywhere in Britain without the prospect of having to dodge dog shit. Humans, for all their faults, don’t down-trousers and dump a bronze on the high street (not sober anyway) so why is this reasonable behaviour for our “brilliant pets”? Is there anything sadder than the sight of a dog owner waiting for their “little boy” to finish their business then pop it steaming into their handbag? Frankly, Britain’s dangerous dogs are incapable of being taught the most basic of things, let alone not biting the kids.
With more than 100 people admitted to hospital every week following dog attacks and £10m to be spent kennelling dangerous dogs while their fate is decided, it’s time (just to be safe) to end Britain’s unnatural fixation with dogs and get rid of the rotten lot.
Image by: Ray Forester, USA and adapted under licence by the Student Guardian