Councillors pledge crackdown on bad owners

TWO ARBROATH councillors are calling for tougher legislation on aggressive dogs after a chihuahua was savaged by another dog in Springfield Park in the burgh.

Last week the dog’s owner Mrs Westwater spoke of her horror after seeing her three-year old pet, Mojo, attacked by an American pitbull.

Unfortunately, Mojo was unable to survive the attack despite treatment by a veterinarian and succumbed to his injuries.

Now councillors Jim Millar and David Fairweather have been gathering statistics on dog enforcement to try and establish how bad the situation is in Angus

They found that in 2010/11, there were 27 bite incidents reported, 47 dog behaviour complaints and 129 dog noise nuisance complaints.

There were also 309 stray dogs caught, with 51 of those being recorded as Staffordshire bull terrier type dogs.

The councils’ community warden service has issued 24 fixed penalty notices since the April 1 for dog fouling, however complaints of dog fouling have decreased, with a 46 per cent reduction against the same period last year.

And now the two councillors hope these statistics show that legislation to tackle aggressive dogs should be more rigorously enforced.

Councillor Millar said: “This brutal and terrifying attack has highlighted a number of issues regarding irresponsible dog owners, not just in Arbroath, but further afield too.

“I have contacted the relevant council officers in order to see how existing legislation can be more rigorously enforced.”

As a dog owner himself, Councillor Fairweather said he was appalled by the incident and appealed for dog owners to ensure they are in control of their pets.

He added: “While out walking my own dog, other walkers have complained to me that they sometimes feel threatened by dogs which are off the leash, especially as quite a number of owners seem unable to control their pets.

“This incident must act as a wake-up call to dog owners to ensure that they are in control of their pets and they must take their responsibilities seriously.

“In light of this, I am urging the police and other authorities to take tough action on those dog owners who flout the law.”