May 19 2013 Latest news:
BY MATT BUNN
Monday, September 3, 2012
DOG owners should be forced to take more responsibility for their pets.
That is the verdict from the mum of a four-year-old left with nasty injuries after she was bitten on the face by a dog.
Elizabeth Fortune, 25, told The Star she welcomes proposals to strengthen the law on dangerous dogs which are expected to give more power to police.
Four-year-old Megan Fortune had to have 12 stitches after she was bitten by a Rottweiler-German Shepherd cross, receiving cuts to her eye and jaw.
Despite having to have more than an hour of surgery, Megan’s mum, was told no offence was committed under the Dangerous Dogs Act because the animal was in a private place.
Politicians today pledged to tighten up the loophole following a series of dog maulings across the country.
A spokesman for DEFRA, told The Star: “It is fully our intention to extend the law on private property and to close that loophole down.
“We want to get something out as soon as possible. What they are about is enabling police to investigate these incidents properly.”
Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey, added: “This is very sad for Megan and I am pleased she appears to be making a good recovery.
“The government is planning to make changes to the law to allow prosecutions for attacks made on private property.
“The consultation closed in June and I would expect to see proposals before the end of this year.”
The incident took place on August 20 while Megan was at her nan’s house in Felixstowe. Megan reportedly stroked the pet, being cared for by her nan to help a friend out, before it bit her.
Miss Fortune, of Runnacles Way, Felixstowe, has applauded the decision to toughen the law on dog attacks.
She said: “Whatever happens, it’s got to be a step in the right direction.
“I think owners should be made to take more responsibility.
“Nothing can stop it I suppose but if people are more careful then maybe it won’t happen as often. If somebody out there can do something to make it better then good on them.”
n Do you think dangerous dog laws need to be changed? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to starletters@ archant.co.uk