How will town tackle dog attacks?

IN THE wake of serious dog attacks, which left two family pets dead and one lady injured, there has been movement in Arbroath to end these incidents.

For the last two weeks the front page of the Arbroath Herald has carried reports of the resurgence in attacks by Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the town.

The first saw an elderly family cat mauled in Lamley Terrace, while in the latest incident a Chihuahua in Sidlaw Terrace was disembowelled and her owner left with puncture wounds to her hands, all allegedly caused by a neighbour’s dog.

At the time of going to press Tayside Police were able to reveal that a 31-year-old woman had been charged in connection with the incident in Lamley Terrace, but enquiries still continued into the Sidlaw Avenue attack.

Ian Robb of Help For Abandoned Animals has been at the forefront of the campaign in the town to curb the numbers of staffies which have been bred for cash and then poorly looked after.

Since the high profile attack on a Chihuahua in Springfield Park last July Mr Robb has been trying to arrange meetings between himself, Tayside Police and Angus Council to find a solution to the problem, and it seems the latest incidents might be enough to spur the parties into action.

He said: “I wrote another letter to the Chief Constable emphasising that I had been given assurances regarding the ongoing situation. I received a call from a Commander Kevin Lynch saying we will now get these meetings arranged between the senior executives of Angus Council. At least it’s a start and we might get something sorted out.”

Mr Robb added that he has been in contact with Arbroath and Lunan councillor Donald Morrison regarding the matter.

He said: “I’ve already had a meeting with Donald Morrison and I put it to him that I don’t mind when members of the public ‘phone me about these incidents. But at the end of the day I ask them, ‘have you not contacted your councillor?’ and they say, ‘We know you will try and help us in anyway you can.”

All that is set to change by the looks of it. Mr Robb added: “I have specifically asked for Donald Morrison to be involved along with the two senior executives that I have already been dealing with. We just need to see how it progresses.”

Councillor Morrison confirmed that he met with Mr Robb last week. He said: “We had a good chat and I spoke to him this morning. Ian is on the ground and sees what is happening. He calls me and I call him so that we keep each other informed.

“Hopefully I’ll be meeting with a council officer next week to discuss the issue and how we can try and help the situation. It has to be a multi-agency response. Tayside Police, Angus Council and the public all have to work together on this. As has been said before, it’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owners who are bad for not training them properly. Of course my thoughts are with the couple who lost their dog and anyone who has been bitten and we will have to address the issue.”