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‘Dogs should be banned from all children’s parks’

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DOGS should be banned from all children’s parks, according to the family of a young Islander who was attacked in a popular St Helier park.

DOG ATTACK Liam Menard with his Grandmother Jill Menard..Picture:DAVID FERGUSON. (25248281)

The attack, which took place a few months ago in St Andrew’s Park, resulted in Liam Menard (7) requiring stitches in his leg.

And now the young boy’s grandmother Jill Menard, who was with Liam at the time of the attack, is calling for an outright ban on dogs being in children’s parks. Currently dogs are required to be kept on a lead in St Andrew’s Park, but the young boy’s family say that they fear this rule is not being enforced.

Despite the parish of St Helier installing new signs following the attack reminding dog owners of the rules, Mrs Menard fears that does not go far enough.

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Mrs Menard (60) said she thinks it is unfair to have dogs in parks when there are so many other places to walk them in Jersey.

‘I was in the park with the three boys when I saw a greyhound lurcher start to chase my oldest grandchild who is just seven years old. And when the dog caught him he bit him so badly that he ripped his shorts, my grandson was completely terrified,’ Mrs Menard said.

‘The owner claimed that the dog had got free of his lead, but when I saw the dog running it didn’t look as though he was wearing any lead at all.

‘The owner was very remorseful and has since said he has got the dog a muzzle. But the damage has been done and I just think it’s too dangerous to have dogs in parks where children are playing, especially since there are so many places for people to walk their dogs in Jersey.’

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Prompted by the recent sighting of a dog of the same breed that attacked her son without a lead in St Andrew’s Park, the boy’s mother took to Facebook and said: ‘This evening I’m in St Andrew’s park with my sons and a couple walk with their dogs off their leads, one of them being the same breed that attacked my son.

‘I informed them that their dogs needed to be on a lead and explained what had happened to my son. The woman wasn’t happy and as I walked away she said “well I don’t want the children attacking our dogs so I will put them on their leads”.

‘How somebody can be so disrespectful is beyond me. So please if you are a dog walker in St Andrew’s Park please keep your dogs on leads. I don’t want to see another child suffering like my child has and still is.’

In response, Tony Andrews, director of St Helier public services, confirmed they were aware of the incident but said it would be difficult to ban dogs from parks.

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He said: ‘This was extremely upsetting for the family and quite rightly they were concerned about dogs off the lead in parks with playgrounds.

‘It would be difficult to ban dogs completely from all our parks as at times the main users are our retired dog owners. It is a shame that a few feel that the law does not apply to them and allow their dogs to run free.

‘We will continue to monitor and refer to the parish hall any persistent offenders.’

Krystle Higgins

By Krystle Higgins
Reporter

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