Leiston: Call for a change in law after dog mauls pony

THE owner of a pony mauled by a Staffordshire bull terrier has called for tougher laws against those whose dogs attack other animals.

Karen Goddard, of Buckleswood Road in Leiston, also urged people to keep their canines under control. The 44-year-old was speaking after her 15-year-old pony, Bonnie, which she keeps at her home with another horse, was attacked on Saturday.

She was alerted to the horrific scene by her eight-year-old daughter after the dog wandered on to her property. Mrs Goddard watched in dismay as the Staffie locked its jaws around the front leg of her beloved pony – leaving it with a deep wound and needing stitches.

Under current law, if a dog attacks another animal it is not usually covered by criminal legislation – and Mrs Goddard would like to see that changed. She was only able to drag the dog away after Bonnie had trampled on the dog, dislocating its hip.

“It was very frightening as the dog was snarling and being very aggressive,” Mrs Goddard said. “I have two young daughters and I didn’t know what might happen.

“I’m not anti Staffie or anything like that, but people need to keep their dogs under control. There needs to be a change in the law. My animals should be safe in their own paddocks, but at the moment, the police are unable to prosecute.”

Mrs Goddard said the vet spent two hours tending to Bonnie’s wounds and that the pony was now on the long road to recovery.

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A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the incident was reported to them shortly before 4pm on Saturday.

She said they had found the owner of the dog and understood they had offered to pay any vets’ bills and the offending animal had been put down.

“If a dog attacks another animal this usually isn’t covered by criminal legislation,” she said.

“Each case reported to police is looked at individually to see if there are any criminal offences, but where there is no legislation which covers what happened the owner of the attacked animal may be able to take civil action against the person who was in charge of the offending dog.”