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Dog owner fined for breaching control order

Published: Friday, 7 September, 2018

The owner of two Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs which must be on a lead and muzzled in public after they attacked a cat and dogs last year, has been fined after they went for a small dog again.

Kathy Andrews told another dog walker that she thought her dogs were ‘chasing a cat’ when her Rhodesian Ridgebacks went for the smaller pet in March this year, Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court was told. Both of her dogs were off-lead and not muzzled, in breach of an earlier court order.

Stroud District Council prosecuted her for a second time on Monday, September 3, over the latest incident in Eastington.

The witness was on a Public Right of Way in a field in Eastington on March 13, 2018, shortly after 1 pm, the court was told. She described seeing the two loose dogs work together as a pack to harass one of her terriers and jump on him in a scuffle – neither was muzzled. Ms Andrews was some 200 metres away and the two Ridgebacks then returned to her.

Having put them on a lead she approached the terrier owner who was checking over her extremely distressed and cowering terrier. Ms Andrews said:

"I thought they were chasing a cat" before departing, the witness said in a statement read to the court.

For the rest of the day the usually lively two-year-old terrier was very quiet in his bed, not joining in the usual activity in the house. After finding blood on the sofa, his owner discovered a small wound which subsequently healed.

In court on Monday, September 3, Ms Andrews admitted breaching a Dog Control Order issued last September under the Dogs Act 1871 which stated that both Ridgebacks had to be muzzled and kept on leads at all times when in a public place.

This had followed three separate incidents where the two dogs had injured a Collie in Box Woods near Minchinhampton, injured a Cockerpoo and chased and injured a cat in a private garden to the extent that it had to be put down by a vet.

Following the recent incident in Eastington this year, Ms Andrews pleaded guilty in court to breaching the previous control orders and was fined £200, with £400 costs, and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.

After the hearing Stroud District Council Environment Committee Vice Chair George Butcher said:

"It is important that dog owners have their pets under their control at all times. I hope this case sends the message out that dogs must be kept under appropriate control – Stroud District Council will prosecute if need be."

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