'Tighter controls needed on dogs in public places'

TIGHTER controls are needed on dogs in public places, according to the two pet owners who were both indirect victims of dog attacks on Friday. Dave Mellors of Lancaster Drive, St Ives, said he feared tragic consequences if police did not take firm action

TIGHTER controls are needed on dogs in public places, according to the two pet owners who were both indirect victims of dog attacks on Friday.

Dave Mellors of Lancaster Drive, St Ives, said he feared tragic consequences if police did not take firm action against the owner of a pair of pit bulls that ran wild on Friday.

"It could have been a tragedy," he said. "My partner Kim and my four girls were walking our border collie cross near Wheatfields School when two pit bulls appeared out of nowhere and attacked Jake.

"My six-year-old daughter Emma went to pull the dog away - it was lucky Kim was there to stop her."


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Mr Mellors said that a member of the public had stopped his car in the middle of Stirling Road to chase the dogs away and residents came out of their homes to help.

After the incident, Mr Mellors said he followed the pit bulls round St Ives where he saw another attack on a dog, while his partner met a woman at the vets whose dog had also been attacked.

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"I am very concerned that dogs like these were not under control and as much as I try, I cannot convince the police it is a matter for them," Mr Mellors said.

"We are left with the vet bill but it is not that which concerns me, it is the danger of these dogs attacking a child which is terrifying."

Meanwhile, Carol Gamby has said her son Christopher was having to attend hospital every other day to have his wounds dressed after the attack at Paxton Pits and added her voice to calls for dog owners to be more responsible for their animals.

Pat Knight, countryside services manager for Huntingdonshire District Council, said:

"In an open space such as Paxton Pits there is no requirement for a dog to be kept on a lead but there is a burden of responsibility on the dog owner.

"We take incidents of this nature very seriously and we believe every dog owner has a duty to be responsible when they take their dog out."

Jayne Adams, a veterinary nurse at the Cromwell Veterinary Group in St Ives said: "We treated two dogs with bite wounds shortly after each other on Friday afternoon.

"Jake had wounds to his right shoulder which we clipped, cleaned and stapled and he was given pain relief.

"The other dog was a small terrier named Archie which also suffered bite wounds."

Ms Adams added that instances of dogs being attacked on the street were rare, with most canine vet visits for dog bites caused by in-home scuffles.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police confirmed the force had received a complaint about a dangerous dog incident at Paxton Pits, which is being investigated, and another in St Ives.

The spokesman added that instances of dogs attacking dogs were generally treated as civil matters and not crimes, but Friday's incident was being looked into.

INFORMATION: Anyone who saw the incident, which happened at about 2pm on Friday around 150 yards from the visitors' centre at Paxton Pits, should contact Cambridgeshire police on 0845 4564564.

Is more action needed on dangerous dog laws? E-mail your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk or call the newsdesk on 01480 411481.

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