WIGAN Council have moved to clarify their role in dealing with problem dogs following complaints from Wigan residents.
The laws governing dangerous dogs has come under increased scrutiny since the tragic death of Jade Anderson in March. The 14-year-old from Atherton was mauled to death by five dogs at a friend’s house on Chaucer Grove.
Her parents are now campaigning for tougher laws as current legislation means prosecutions cannot be brought against anybody who’s dog attacks on private property.
Earlier this week, an Aspull resident accused both the council and police of “passing the buck” after he rang about a Rottweiler that he has repeatedly seen in his garden which was “acting aggressively”.
The resident who wished only to be known as Chris said: “Three times I’ve found a Rottweiler in my garden. I went out and it growled at me. I’ve got young kids and if they were playing the garden they would stand no chance if it went for them.
“I’ve rang the police and the council and each time they just fobbed me off and said it was the other’s responsibility.
“Given what happened to that poor girl in Atherton it just isn’t good enough. I’ve no idea who owns the dog, but it is only a matter of time before somebody is attacked.”
In response, Alan Blundell, Wigan Council head of regulation, said: “We encourage all dog owners to look after their pets responsibly and this includes preventing their dog from straying. The council has a responsibility for stray dogs.
“A stray dog is defined as ‘any dog in a public or private place that it shouldn’t be, without its owner’. If a dog is out alone and becomes aggressive or dangerous, the matter will be dealt with by the Police.
“A responsible pet owner will ensure that their dog is in a secure environment, for the benefit and safety of both the dog and the public, particularly neighbours.
“Anyone who cannot provide such an environment should consider whether keeping a dog is right for them. Owners should also remember it is a legal requirement for their dog to wear a collar and I.D. tag in a public place, or they could face a fine of up to £5,000 if prosecuted.”