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Restricted dog breed owners urged to act ‘responsibly’


A Dog Warden with Clare County Council has warned that someone will be killed by a dangerous breed of dog in the hands of an irresponsible owner.

Frankie Coote is urging owners of restricted breeds in particular to act responsibly, following three dog attacks in Kilrush in recent days.

Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One, he said the incidents have involved bulldogs that have not been muzzled or on a leash, where they attacked other dogs whose owners were walking them, resulting in serious injury to the other dog and their owner as they attempted to protect their pet.

One incident involved a Pitbull, he said, that jumped a wall to attack another dog. The Pitbull should not have been out, it was an “accident”, he said. The owner did not know the dog was out.

Mr Coote described a third incident, also an “accident” he said, in which a dog ran out its owner’s door when they opened it and ran in a neighbour’s door and attacked the neighbour’s dog, which ended up in the veterinary hospital.

He said he has “resolved” two of the cases, in which both dogs were “removed”, and he is “still looking for one of the dogs”.

He said there have always been dog attacks, but he has noticed “a few more this year already…with three dogs killed [in attacks] since Christmas and a couple of people attacked”.

He also said there is a pattern of people now seeking to get rid of that breed of dog [Pitbull/Bulldog] because of new legislation restricting certain breeds to be muzzled, kept on a lead, and being properly controlled, or be fined €300.

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Mr Coote said “no matter what laws you bring in, you’re always going to have people breaking them”.

“90% of the people that have these dogs, they keep them under control and they’re responsible and they show respect for the safety of others”.

“But you get the odd person who doesn’t, and it only takes one – none of us wants to see a person or a child being killed.”

Mr Coote said he was not “picking on XL bullys and those type of breeds” but pointed out that if a “Jack Russell, terrier, sheepdog, bites you or attacks you, then okay you get bitten, you get away; you may not get away from one of these if they get you down, they’re very strong”.

However, he said if these dogs are trained or handled properly, they can be perfectly safe.

“Most of the really serious cases – especially where children have been killed and people really badly damaged – the majority of those cases are in their own home by their own dog.

“If I had one of those breed, I would have a muzzle on it even in my own house, when I’d have visitors over in my own garden, I’d put the dog away.

“Now I know there’s people out there and have those dogs and they won’t agree with me, but one fatality is too many, and people going for a walk with their dog and ending up in the doctor’s and their dog in the vets.

“And videos that I have taken myself since Christmas of dogs dead out on the road and this Bulldog still pulling them around the place, it’s not good.”


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