Court spares dangerous dog

A GERMAN Shepherd puppy which jumped on a boy out playing with friends was spared a death sentence by magistrates in Huntingdon. Under provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act, it was at the discretion of magistrates whether 16-month-old Tara should be destro

A GERMAN Shepherd puppy which jumped on a boy out playing with friends was spared a death sentence by magistrates in Huntingdon.

Under provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act, it was at the discretion of magistrates whether 16-month-old Tara should be destroyed, after causing injury to a child.

Owner Carol Burrell, of Robin Terrace, Alconbury, admitted being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control in a public place, after an incident in Sparrow Drive in the village on June 20.

The boy was pinned to the ground by the dog, suffering abrasions to his left wrist and elbow.


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The court heard how the youngster was out playing with friends in the early evening, when the German Shepherd escaped from its owners' back garden.

Prosecuting, John Goodier said the dog began chasing the children, and the victim ran round a parked car and then tripped over on the green, where the animal jumped on him.

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The boy told police he was unsure whether the dog bit him or scratched him, but friends pointed out to him that his arm was bleeding, Mr Goodier said.

The victim had already been scared of dogs, the court heard, and the episode had caused him distress.

John Crisp, for Burrell, said the owner "obviously regretted" the incident and had been to visit the victim's mother to express this sentiment.

The puppy had been nine months old at the time and had been ill-treated before it came to its new owners, six weeks earlier, the court heard.

Mr Crisp said the puppy was excitable and had played with the owners' grandchildren without any problem.

He told the court the back gate, from where Tara escaped, was now permanently padlocked, and the puppy was muzzled when taken for walks.

Magistrates fined Mrs Burrell £150 and ordered her to pay £50 compensation to the victim and £50 costs.

"We have decided not to destroy the dog, but make an order that she is kept under proper control and is muzzled whenever she goes outside," the chairman of the bench said.

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