52 dog attacks in Jersey since start of 2017
THE number of dog attacks on people reported to the States police dropped between 2017 and 2018, new figures have revealed.
A freedom of information request has shown that a total of 52 dog attacks on Islanders were reported between 2017 and August this year.
Some of the reports led to parish hall inquiries, with one concluding with a fine being imposed by the Magistrate’s Court.
In 2017, a total of 24 reports were made to the police, with the ten ending with no formal complaint being made.
Seven dog owners were given words of advice and on one occasion there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
One investigation was unable to conclude because the dog and its owner had left the Island.
The number of attacks dropped the following year, with just 14 reports made in 2018.
Two were dealt with at parish hall inquiries and two were unable to be prosecuted due to insufficient evidence.
So far in 2019 there have been 14 attacks reported to the police – the same number as the whole of the previous year.
One case is currently ongoing in the courts. The majority of reported attacks are dealt with through words of advice.
Barbara Keywood, of the JSPCA, welcomed the drop in numbers from 2017 and issued advice for dog owners on how to train and and keep their pets under control.
She said: ‘There has been a significant drop compared to the 2017 figures of registered attacks.
‘We would advise people to always ensure that their dogs are kept under control at all times.
‘If you know that your dog’s recall [returning to its owner when called] isn’t that great, or they are easily distracted by other dogs, keep them on a lead whilst out walking.
‘If you have a reactive dog, avoid busy areas or busy times. Preventative measures such as wearing a muzzle can also be taken to avoid any incidents.
‘Please respect all dogs’ owners’ space whilst out walking; some dogs can be easily spooked by certain breeds and even dogs wearing muzzles.
‘In the home, it is important to teach children to read dog body language and respect the dog’s space to ensure that they are comfortable and relaxed with the situation.’