An animal charity has warned about pet owners breaking the law by not muzzling certain types of dogs after a man was attacked by an Alsatian.
Wendy Kenny was out walking with her husband, Mark, in Killiney at the weekend when he was bitten by an unmuzzled dog which two young teenagers could not keep control of.
Taking to the Shankill Open Forum on Facebook, she warned: “My husband has just been bitten by an Alsatian where the cliff path meets Killiney beach. It was on a lead when it bit his leg.
“The dog was with two young teenage girls who couldn’t control it, and on inspection it transpired they were attempting to put a muzzle on it.
“We are dog owners ourselves, and Mark was walking our lab-cross when attacked. The Alsatian showed no interest in our dog and she didn’t react to the Alsatian.
“I’m asking very nicely that this does not turn into an attack on dog owners. I posted to warn people about this dog.”
Wendy added that her husband went to the doctor for treatment, has been to the Gardai, and also planned to get in touch with the dog warden.
Locals were shocked by the incident. Commenting on social media, one person wrote: “This does a lot of reputational damage to responsible dog owners and walkers.”
Another person wrote: “Terrified of Alsatians. They must be muzzled and kept under control, not fair on people who can’t walk in peace.”
Gillian Bird, spokesperson for the DSPCA, told Dublin Gazette that the teenagers were breaking the law by not having their dog muzzled.
She said: “That dog could have been taken from those girls because they are in breach of the law. They’re breaking the law by not having the dog muzzled.
“The rules in the Control of Dogs Act 1986, under the restricted breeds act, says a dog must be kept under effective control at all times.
“Alsatians are German Shepherds, and the rules are that any cross or strain of any of the dogs on the restricted breed list – such as a German, Belgium or Dutch Shepherd – are strains of that.
“Those dogs must be muzzled, kept on a strong lead and walked by someone over the age of 16. If you have a dog that is on the restricted dog list, you must adhere to the rules and regulations; otherwise you are liable to any damages done by your dog. It is basic responsibility.”
She also advised dog owners to check with their local bye-laws on whether they can allow their dog to be off its lead in public places.
If you have any queries about the behaviour of your dog, the DSPCA run free assessments for dog training. For further information, see www.dspca.ie.