October 23 2014 Latest news:
By Chris Harris
Thursday, December 20, 2012
A MAN whose dog died after being snatched from his arms and “shook like a toy” has backed calls for pet owners to be more responsible.
Robin Culver, a former teacher at Saxmundham Middle School, watched in horror as his 16-year-old Westie-Jack Russell was attacked at Sizewell beach.
The 60-year-old, of Theberton, has supported Sizewell artist Liza Adamczewski’s call for action after another canine killed one of her chickens.
Mr Culver said he was walking at Sizewell beach when a Mastiff-Labrador cross ran up to his dog Lily and knocked her over.
“I picked Lily up but the dog snatched her out of my hands and shook her like a toy,” he added. “I had to force the dog’s jaws apart.”
He rushed his dog to the vets but it died the following day having suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung in the attack.
The female with the Mastiff-Labrador cross later reported the incident to police. Mr Culver said an officer based at Leiston told him she had agreed to take the dog to training classes and keep it on a short lead.
He added: “It was harrowing. I have never been nervous of anything in my life but this made me nervous of going to that beach.
“There’s lots of dogs down there that need to be better controlled.”
Mrs Adamczewski, of Coastguard Cottages, said dogs had twice attacked her chickens, killing one, in the last year.
She added: “The dog owners don’t understand what being under control of a dog means.
“It’s a shame because we have a great space here. But at the same time a dog that’s let off the lead should be one that comes after a call by the owner.
“I think what we need is a campaign to educate the public about what walking a dog actually means.
“I think at some point it’s going to be a child. Not that it is not terrible when a dog is killed - I have comforted a dog owner that was in floods of tears and I was upset when I lost my chicken.”
A spokesperson for Suffolk Coastal District Council said: “This is clearly an awful story and serves as a reminder to all dog owners of their clear responsibility to control their pet and not cause distress to others. Dogs must only be let off leads in areas where there are no restrictions and where owners can be absolutely certain that no harm can come to others.”
Section three of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 makes it a criminal offence for a dog to be “dangerously out of control in a public place”.