Monday, 22 December 2014

Dog Attack - You're Doing It Wrong

To the woman having coffee outside at Bean Thief in East Kew between 0915 and 0945 this morning:

Your statement that 'he never attacks anyone' is patently false, as we both saw.

Your further claim that 'he only ever attacks your dog, so I think that says something about you' is also incorrect.

It may be the case that your dog only ever attacks Emily. I am not in a position to know. But if walking sedately past him, on lead and at heel, is considered by your dog sufficient provocation for an attack, I should think it unlikely.

When your unrestrained dog attacks another dog, there are certain social conventions that govern your response, which should include the following elements:

1. I'm sorry. (or other form of apology).

2. Is your dog okay? (or other expression of concern for whether actual damage has occurred).

Once these conditions have been satisfied, you may of course then go on to make the usual spurious claims about how he has never done it before, etc. 

Do you know, woman who doesn't bother to hold the other end of the lead when you're having your coffee, what happens when a motor vehicle travelling at speed collides with a dog? It is not pretty. However, as you choose to leave your dog unrestrained while you sit on the edge of a main thoroughfare sipping your latte, you will doubtless find out one of these days. Perhaps next time someone with a dog passes you on the other side of the road.

Assuming your dog doesn't die horribly in this way, do you know what happens when a person makes a complaint to Boroondara Council about your dog attacking a person or another dog, or rushing at a person? No, I thought not. You will face having your dog declared a Dangerous Dog. If that happens, your dog can only legally be outside your property leashed and muzzled. For the rest of his life. If you ignore that restriction, the council can seize and destroy your dog. Destroying a dog means killing it. 

Do you know that on receiving a complaint the council has the legal right to seize and kill your dog anyway?

Do you also know that it qualifies as a 'rush' if the dog approaches within three metres of any human? No, I thought not.

Did you know that there is a fine of several hundred dollars consequent on letting your dog run around off lead in public? No, having a lead trailing from his collar does not mean that he is 'on lead'. You have to be holding the other end.

Do you realise that you came perilously close to having your dog reported today, by me, for an attack/rush? Do you realise that the only reason I didn't do so was that it is three days before Christmas, and I decided to give you a break? Do you realise that that won't happen a second time? Do you even know who I am?

Well, Miss It Says Something About You If My Dog Attacks Your Dog, just let anything like that happen again and you will find out.

I'll see you in court, if that happy day happens. Oh, did I mention? I'm a lawyer. So it won't cost me anything to sue you. Just the filing fees.

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