Belfast Telegraph

Owner of family pet savaged by out-of-control dog demands action

By Amanda Ferguson

The owner of a dog lucky to be alive after a vicious attack by an Akita left running loose is calling for better out-of-hours warden services.

Thirteen-year-old diabetic terrier cross Snowie is recovering at home after he had to get 12 inches of stitches across the back of his neck following an attack at Chaine Memorial Road in Larne at 10am on New Year's Day.

Snowie's distraught owner, who did not want to be identified, explained the circumstances of the family pet suffering extensive muscle damage.

"My father had the dog out on the lead at around 10am in the morning.

"He saw an Akita was loose so he crossed the road, but the dog went after Snowie.

"He had him in his grip and was shaking him to and fro, but then dad managed to get him to release him."

Snowie suffered deep wounds on the back of his neck and was immediately taken to a vet for treatment.

It is understood the Akita, a breed of large dog, had jumped out of its owner's garden after being spooked by fireworks on New Year's Eve and had been roaming the streets for around 10 hours.

"The Akita had been sighted by various people and was reported to the police and the council," Snowie's owner said.

"We were told the police couldn't do anything and on New Year's Day the council doesn't have an out-of-hours dog warden.

"If the police cannot do anything, fair enough, but the council should have provision."

A spokeswoman for Larne Borough Council told the Belfast Telegraph an investigation was under way.

"The director of environmental services for Larne Borough Council was contacted around 1pm on New Year's Day about a complaint regarding a dog on Chaine Memorial Road," she said.

"The matter was immediately investigated and a dog walker in the area advised that an Akita dog, which is a large breed, had been let off its lead and had attacked another dog.

"According to the witness, the owner took the injured dog to the vet.

"Arrangements were promptly made for a dog warden to come on duty to visit the area and deal with the matter.

"After a thorough examination of the area around 2.30pm the Akita dog could not be located. The owner of the dog which was attacked has now come forward with further details and an the investigation will continue."

The director added: "Under the Dogs NI Order 1983, dogs must be under control and that the penalty for failing to do so would be an on-the-spot fine.

"Authorised staff within Larne Borough Council rigorously implement these powers when breaches in the Order occur.

"The council would appeal to the public to support them in these efforts and to report breaches when they occur.

"The council, through regular announcements, in the local Press, has repeatedly informed dog owners of their responsibilities with regard to keeping all dogs under control."

Meanwhile, Snowie is recovering from his ordeal and should be back to his old self soon.

"He is still very sore," his owner added.

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