Ipswich: Distressed dog owner calls for law change after her pet pooch is savaged

IPSWICH: A disabled woman today told how her beloved pet was mauled by dogs as their owners looked on.

Elizabeth Baker, 41, of Alderman Road, Ipswich, is calling for stricter supervision of dangerous breeds after police said they could not treat the incident as a criminal offence.

Ms Baker was exercising her dog Treacle on recreation grounds near her flat at around 11.30am on Monday, October 18, when the attack happened.

Treacle, a Jack Russell-whippet cross, was approached by what Ms Baker describes as a pair of Staffordshire bull terriers.

“Next thing I knew they were on her,” she said.

Ms Baker claims the dogs’ owners, two males of around 18 years old, made no attempt to break up the melee.

“I told them to remove their dogs, but they actually did not get them off until two other people came and helped me out.”

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Her rescuers, a man and a woman, waited with Ms Baker for a taxi to take her dog to a vet. Treacle sustained injuries to a rear leg requiring sutures and superficial bite wounds to her neck and chest.

Charles Bagnall, the vet who treated her wounds at Orwell Veterinary Practice, said: “If this had been a prolonged attack from a big dog on a smaller dog like that, the chances are it would have killed it.”

Ms Baker, who has been disabled since birth with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, has spent almost �400 on treating her dog’s injuries, and expects to pay out more.

“All dangerous dogs should be on leads or muzzles,” she said.

Suffolk police have said this week that dog-on-dog attacks are not a crime, and that they cannot investigate further.

Unlike pit bull terriers, Staffordshire terriers are not covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act, which forces owners to muzzle and leash their dogs in public.

Paula Boyden, veterinary director at the Dogs Trust, said: “We have called for an amendment to the act to adequately deal with aggressive or dangerous dogs based on the actions of a dog rather than its breed.

“Properly trained Staffordshire Crosses are no more likely to show aggression than any other breed of dog.”

n Should the law be changed? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@evening star.co.uk