- Michael GoveSecretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Justice for Cats Killed by Dogs
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On the 19th September 2017, a local dog escaped and killed my beloved cat Maizey in our garden.
She was 9 years old and could not have been a happier, healthier little moggie. She brought unconditional love, joy and laughter to our lives. So as any loving pet owner will understand, losing her in such an abrupt and tragic way left us completely devastated and inconsolable. In fact, we still can't believe that she's gone.
We later found out that the dog belonged to a local couple who had only adopted it from a rescue centre 4 days earlier.
The couple were polite, but unwilling to take the dog back to the rescue, despite our concerns for our remaining cat and the other neighbourhood cats.
I was advised to contact the police and report the dog attack, which I duly did. It was at this point that my decision to start a petition began......
I found that, despite Maizey being killed on our property, she was worth nothing in the eyes of the law. Action would only be taken against the dog owners should multiple attacks occur, at which point it would be grounds for 'anti-social behaviour'.
I couldn't help but wonder - Exactly how many more pets need to be attacked before the police will take any kind of action?!
This revelation led me to look into the Dangerous Dogs Act (1997). This legislation allows for action to be taken against dog owners should they attack people. I couldn't find mention of attacks on other animals anywhere in the document.
I was appalled to realise that trivial malicious damage to my property might result in police action, however a lethal attack on my cat on my property results in exactly nothing.
I would like to see the Dangerous Dogs Act amended to include for appropriate action to be taken following an attack on a 'protected animal', especially where an animal is attacked on its own property.
It won't bring Maizey back but, as a responsible pet owner and animal sanctuary volunteer, I hope to at least raise awareness of the issue.
Please sign and share this with your friends and family.
A few more links you might be interested in:
- Cats.Org article about the 2013 Draft Amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act: https://www.cats.org.uk/news/dangerous-dogs-legislation---one-step-closer-to-cat-friendly-law
- Nikki Morgan debates in parliament for the inclusion of dogs in the Dangerous Dogs Act: http://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-04-25/debates/D6A76E12-A956-4F0A-81E8-87F8C8D535D0/DogAttacksOnDogs#contribution-F44D86EF-9BAC-470B-A97F-81C06AA50E6B
- Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dear Mr Gove.
I am writing to you because I need your help in implementing a much needed change in the law regarding dog attacks.
Please take the time to read my brief petition statement. You will see that I am motivated by the tragic end to my much beloved cat's life. She was killed by an escaped neighbours dog, in my garden.
I was shocked to discover that currently Maizey held no worth in the eyes of the law. It makes absolutely no sense to me that I have no rights to request appropriate action for the avoidable loss of something so precious to me.
Cats have a propensity to wander, which is why I think that a sensible approach would be to consider action if a 'protected animal' (pet) is attacked on its own property.
As a nation of animal lovers, I know that an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act would be very much welcomed and I hope that you might use your position within EFRA to consider this.
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