Make it illegal to hit non-threatening unleashed dogs in dog friendly parks

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Yesterday one of my best friends and her dog Snow White experienced something horrible!

My friend owns a tiny dog, a Maltese, that weighs around two kilos and is eleven years old. Snow White is a trained service dog (most people have seen blind dogs, they are one type of service dogs) and they have together traveled the world as companions for the last decade.

Yesterday my friend was at a dog-friendly park in London, England, with Snow White where loads of dogs walk freely (off the leash). A woman was sitting on a park bench and she left her purse on the ground. As my friend and her dog were walking in the park, Snow White passed the woman's purse, sniffed it briefly before continuing forward. But within a matter of seconds the woman got up from the bench and hit Snow White's little head -with her closed fist! The sound of the hit was so loud, people could hear it around them! Snow White screamed out of pain and took off to a corner where she hid, shivering from fear of the woman.

My friend called the police that arrived to the sight. The policeman took my friends statement and the woman's as well and then said he couldn't remove the woman from the park and the woman did the right thing because her act didn't classify as animal abuse since she has the right to protect her property and she doesn't hit the dog everyday.

My friend then talked to the RSPCA, but they couldn't act either, since Snow White wasn't on a leash. They were sorry they couldn't help them but said "that's just the way the law is".

Shortly after the policeman left a bigger dog walked past the woman and she kicked the dog! Luckily the dog seemed to be fine due to quick reflexes.

But here is what I'd like to know:

1. If you rob someone once, it's classified as robbery. But when you hit a dog once it's not animal abuse unless you hit it daily...? To me, this doesn't make sense! Shouldn't the act, not the frequency, count?

2. If you are in a dog-friendly park where dogs walk without a leash freely (where there is no clear legal sign that requires dogs to be kept on leash within the park), how come the law doesn't protect dogs and their owners from violence? To me it just seems as if the woman was looking for an excuse to hit dogs, since Snow White wasn't the only dog that was attacked. There is also a dog free area in the park where the woman could have spent her afternoon if she didn't want to be around dogs.

So, this woman could continue her day without any consequences meanwhile my friend and Snow White suffer from both the woman's violence and the inadequate laws.

Please, share this and sign the petition to change the law in the UK! No dogs should be abused, when they are non-threatening and off the leash in a dog friendly park (dogs are allowed to walk freely)!

What if it was your dog?

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