Call for action after dog savaged in Grove garden

The Oxford Times: Trisha Fitzsimmons with her terrier Megan Buy this photo Trisha Fitzsimmons with her terrier Megan

A BEAUTICIAN wants the owners of a dog which nearly killed her terrier prosecuted under new laws before it attacks a child.

Trisha Fitzsimmons, from Grove, was out of the house on Saturday when her 14-year-old terrier Megan was attacked.

Her next-door neighbours’ young daughters were taking care of Megan in the front garden of their home on Main Street.

Mrs Fitzsimmons, 39, said the dog, a mongrel, jumped over the fence and went straight for Megan’s throat.

She said: “It basically savaged her.”

Megan, who is deaf and never heard her attacker coming, has had to have £1,750 worth of operations.

Mrs Fitzsimmons said she and husband Andrew, who live with their son Josh, eight, cannot afford that bill – let alone the care Megan will need in future.

She said the family tried to get insurance for Megan, but were told she was too old. Danetree Vets in Grove has told her to consider putting the dog down, rather than face the costs of her care.

On May 12, the Government introduced an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act, which makes it an offence for a dog to be “dangerously out of control” on private property for the first time.

Previously the law only covered public places.

Mrs Fitzsimmons said: “This is a vicious dog. It should not be going free – it could so easily have attacked those two little girls.

“The concern is that a kid is going to be next.”

Mrs Fitzsimmons telephoned police the day of the attack.

Thames Valley Police confirmed it is investigating the attack, but has made no arrests.

RSPCA head of public affairs David Bowles said: “We don’t believe these figures will go down because the new legislation doesn’t prevent bites from happening, it merely provides a framework for a possible response to them once they have already happened.

“The number of dog bites being treated in hospital has generally increased by two to three per cent year on year.”

The charity is calling for better education for owners of aggressive dogs on how to control them.

Spokesman Andy Robbins said: “The RSPCA urges all dog owners to ensure their pets are under control at all times and are well trained and socialised.”

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Comments (11)

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2:16pm Fri 23 May 14

xenarthra says...

This must have been very unpleasant for Mrs Fitzsimmons, but what evidence is there that the attacking dog poses any threat to people? Dogs often fight each other. It doesn't follow automatically that they are a risk to people.
This must have been very unpleasant for Mrs Fitzsimmons, but what evidence is there that the attacking dog poses any threat to people? Dogs often fight each other. It doesn't follow automatically that they are a risk to people. xenarthra
  • Score: -4

3:22pm Fri 23 May 14

piper2011 says...

its the owner NOT the dog that needs putting down. why cant people look after their dogs ?
its the owner NOT the dog that needs putting down. why cant people look after their dogs ? piper2011
  • Score: 5

3:54pm Fri 23 May 14

Korrie02 says...

why put megan down when the operations have already taken place?? the bill for £1,750 will still be outstanding along with the fee for putting her to sleep?
i understand there maybe future care costs but just seems awful to have put the dog through the operations only to put her to sleep.
why put megan down when the operations have already taken place?? the bill for £1,750 will still be outstanding along with the fee for putting her to sleep? i understand there maybe future care costs but just seems awful to have put the dog through the operations only to put her to sleep. Korrie02
  • Score: 2

3:59pm Fri 23 May 14

xenarthra says...

piper2011 wrote:
its the owner NOT the dog that needs putting down. why cant people look after their dogs ?
I suspect we're only hearing one side of the story here. It sounds very implausible that a dog would spontaneously jump a fence into a garden and attack another dog without there having been any build-up to it. My guess is that the two dogs were barking at each other through the fence before the attack. This doesn't excuse the owner of the attacking dog, but it's a large leap to infer that the attacking dog poses a danger to humans.
[quote][p][bold]piper2011[/bold] wrote: its the owner NOT the dog that needs putting down. why cant people look after their dogs ?[/p][/quote]I suspect we're only hearing one side of the story here. It sounds very implausible that a dog would spontaneously jump a fence into a garden and attack another dog without there having been any build-up to it. My guess is that the two dogs were barking at each other through the fence before the attack. This doesn't excuse the owner of the attacking dog, but it's a large leap to infer that the attacking dog poses a danger to humans. xenarthra
  • Score: 2

4:05pm Fri 23 May 14

carli says...

the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs.
the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs. carli
  • Score: 4

6:12pm Fri 23 May 14

xenarthra says...

carli wrote:
the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs.
"owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs". Dogs need to socialise. Your suggestion, while no doubt well-intentioned, is tantamount to animal cruelty.
[quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs.[/p][/quote]"owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs". Dogs need to socialise. Your suggestion, while no doubt well-intentioned, is tantamount to animal cruelty. xenarthra
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Fri 23 May 14

carli says...

xenarthra wrote:
carli wrote:
the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs.
"owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs". Dogs need to socialise. Your suggestion, while no doubt well-intentioned, is tantamount to animal cruelty.
xenarthra what i should have said is that dogs should not be allowed to casually approach other dogs without the owners consent first. I do not mean that dogs should not socialise. i do not treat my dog cruelly.
[quote][p][bold]xenarthra[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs.[/p][/quote]"owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs". Dogs need to socialise. Your suggestion, while no doubt well-intentioned, is tantamount to animal cruelty.[/p][/quote]xenarthra what i should have said is that dogs should not be allowed to casually approach other dogs without the owners consent first. I do not mean that dogs should not socialise. i do not treat my dog cruelly. carli
  • Score: 1

7:03pm Fri 23 May 14

xenarthra says...

carli wrote:
xenarthra wrote:
carli wrote:
the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs.
"owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs". Dogs need to socialise. Your suggestion, while no doubt well-intentioned, is tantamount to animal cruelty.
xenarthra what i should have said is that dogs should not be allowed to casually approach other dogs without the owners consent first. I do not mean that dogs should not socialise. i do not treat my dog cruelly.
Fair enough. I can't see how that would work in practice, though. Dogs also need to run off the lead in order to get proper exercised. If someone has a particularly aggressive dog, then I agree they should not exercise it where other dogs are present (and it should be muzzled in public). However, most dogs are perfectly able to run around freely while socialising with other dogs.
[quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]xenarthra[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]carli[/bold] wrote: the number of times dogs have come charging over to me whilst I am walking my GSD on a lead and it has Caution on it's collar is unbelievable. my dog has very bad eye sight and gets very anxious and snappy if another dog approaches it. I am also amazed about the dogs allowed to run off at Port Meadow and charge at horses, cows and other dogs while the owners just ignore them...owners should be more careful, and even if their dog is friendly, it doesn't mean the one it's running at is....so all dogs should be under close supervision and owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs.[/p][/quote]"owners should not allow their dog to approach other dogs". Dogs need to socialise. Your suggestion, while no doubt well-intentioned, is tantamount to animal cruelty.[/p][/quote]xenarthra what i should have said is that dogs should not be allowed to casually approach other dogs without the owners consent first. I do not mean that dogs should not socialise. i do not treat my dog cruelly.[/p][/quote]Fair enough. I can't see how that would work in practice, though. Dogs also need to run off the lead in order to get proper exercised. If someone has a particularly aggressive dog, then I agree they should not exercise it where other dogs are present (and it should be muzzled in public). However, most dogs are perfectly able to run around freely while socialising with other dogs. xenarthra
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Fri 23 May 14

carli says...

I agree that dogs should run off the lead, what I would like to happen though is that certain owners should pay more attention to where their dogs are running, and if they see someone who has a dog on a lead, then try to stop their dog running at the person with the dog on the lead. You say that most dogs are perfectly able to run around freely, but not all dogs like other dogs charging at them if they are on a lead. I just wish the certain dog owners would be a little more considerate.
I agree that dogs should run off the lead, what I would like to happen though is that certain owners should pay more attention to where their dogs are running, and if they see someone who has a dog on a lead, then try to stop their dog running at the person with the dog on the lead. You say that most dogs are perfectly able to run around freely, but not all dogs like other dogs charging at them if they are on a lead. I just wish the certain dog owners would be a little more considerate. carli
  • Score: 3

11:53pm Sun 25 May 14

duquesaboy says...

It would be a good idea to have a dedicated dog park like they have in USA !
It would be a good idea to have a dedicated dog park like they have in USA ! duquesaboy
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Tue 27 May 14

cornflake girl says...

I am heartbroken for this poor little dog, sadly dogs dont always get on with other dogs, i agree all dogs should be kept on leads at all times regardless. its ok if you and your pet are the only ones in the field but be responsible aaround other dogs, just because your dog is friendly off the lead does'nt mean the dog with the responsible owner keeping it on a lead is. My dog does'nt like dogs loves humans and children but had a nasty experience as a pup. This however is sad as the dog was in its own garden how high was the fence that the dog jumped over ??? Can i state that a dog attacks a dog DOES NOT MEAN it will attack children, please dont use that. my dog would bark at any dog, but aorund children is the biggest softest loon you could meet he adores the love and fuss with children .
I am heartbroken for this poor little dog, sadly dogs dont always get on with other dogs, i agree all dogs should be kept on leads at all times regardless. its ok if you and your pet are the only ones in the field but be responsible aaround other dogs, just because your dog is friendly off the lead does'nt mean the dog with the responsible owner keeping it on a lead is. My dog does'nt like dogs loves humans and children but had a nasty experience as a pup. This however is sad as the dog was in its own garden how high was the fence that the dog jumped over ??? Can i state that a dog attacks a dog DOES NOT MEAN it will attack children, please dont use that. my dog would bark at any dog, but aorund children is the biggest softest loon you could meet he adores the love and fuss with children . cornflake girl
  • Score: 1

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