Dog attacks spark warning over unruly dogs

Suffolk police has issued the warning after a string of incidents where dogs have bitten pedestrians

Suffolk police has issued the warning after a string of incidents where dogs have bitten pedestrians. Picture: LIBRARY - Credit: Archant

A spate of attacks by unruly hounds has prompted a warning to dog owners to keep their pets on a lead.

Children were hurt in some of the incidents, which included a toddler being knocked to the floor by a “boisterous” puppy looking for food and two girls, aged five and six, being bitten by a German Shepherd in Bourne Park.

On the latter occasion, the dog was running off the lead near the children’s play area and both girls were left bruised and had to be taken to hospital.

In Haverhill, a woman in her 70s required hospital treatment after being bitten by a dog near the Tesco store in Wratting Road, after which the dog owner apologised and walked away.

Those with a dog acting dangerously out of control can face an unlimited fine by police or up to a six month prison sentence.

If a dog injures a person, the prison sentence can be extended to up to five years.

Owners could also see their dog destroyed and face a ban from owning another.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “While it isn’t necessary for dogs to be on a leash at all times, dogs must be kept on a lead in designated pedestrian zones and on land where livestock is present.

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“Police are urging dog owners to be mindful of their surroundings and are reminding them that they are responsible for any damage the dog in their care may commit.”

Those with information regarding the incidents should contact police on 101, quoting reference 37/19399/19 for Ipswich, or 37/19074/19 for Haverhill.

Alternatively, information can be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

More information regarding responsible dog ownership is available on Suffolk Constabulary’s website.