Letter to Editor: Tackling dangerous owners in Harlow

Your Say / Sun 24th Apr 2022 am30 07:35am

Dear Editor,

THERE are many reports from very distressed owners of injured dogs on local Facebook groups like “Harlow Pets Lost and Found ” and others over the last few months. These indicate that they and their dogs are being subjected to serious attacks from dogs let off their leads by owners who have no control over their own dogs.

Attacks are becoming more and more frequent. It’s clear that not only does this pose a serious risk to dogs and their owners but to others like children who may endeavour to intervene or run when approached by free dogs in attack or pack mode.

There’s also the indication that the same owners who have no control repeat the behaviour again and again. Prevention is better than cure.

Might it be possible for the Council to make it compulsory that dogs are kept on leads in parks and other public green areas within the town? 

Those wishing to let their dogs off their leads might then use designated areas in the surrounding countryside. 

Let’s not, as with many safety issues wait until the worst has happened before acting.

Name and address supplied

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10 Comments for Letter to Editor: Tackling dangerous owners in Harlow:

Jennifer Steadman
2022-04-24 09:23:54

As a dog owner of two nervous rescue dogs, I whole heartedly agree with this. My girls wont ever be let off the lead, but too often, a dog on the loose comes charging over & the owner will call out 'it's ok, my dog is friendly!' Well, that's all very well, but my girls may not welcome a dog coming charging at them at high speed when they are on their lead & harness so may go into defense mode & attack your dog. My girls are soppy & daft, but still very nervous so I dont think they would attack, but I'm not prepared to take that chance!! There are now 2 very large secure fields in Harlow that you can book, plus the Nosey Barker Zen Zone at Pye Corner, plus loads of other walking fields not too far away where your dog can roam, play, climb, dig, sniff & run to its hearts content....take them there off lead!! That's what I intented to do.

2022-04-24 15:10:13

If you dog has 100% recall then I think the owners can be allowed to let their dogs off lead. My doggo is wary of most dogs and people and his recall is patchy so I don’t let him off lead in any parks as a responsible dog owner. I will also state, allowing young children to run free without supervision in parks is also a real problem. I can’t count the number of time I’ve been out walking my dog and unsupervised toddlers/children under 10 been permitted by the guardians to run towards my dog. This is poor parenting and not properly educating children. 1. Your child does not know me or my dog and 2. I don’t know you or your child. I always ask the parents that allow this to happen, how would you like it if I ran straight up to you or your child uninvited? You would freak out. Now think about how my dog could react in that scenario. Be responsible dog owners, citizens and parents. If a dog is on lead give them and their owners plenty of room when approaching and passing by. Thanks for reading!

2022-04-24 15:12:04

You're all barking

Council tax payer
2022-04-24 19:23:33

There is a simple solution. A local bylaw requiring all dogs be on a lead and muzzled in public areas. Ignorant owners who let their dogs off the lead on the cycle paths and in the parks are a total menace. They can't control their dogs, and there is no such thing as 100% recall, they're animals and behave as such, not little furry people that you can reason with. Too many dog owners forget that and call them 'fur babies'. Just because you like your dog it doesn't mean everyone else does, keep it on a lead and away from other people, and pick up after it as well.

Si Jones
2022-04-25 11:55:47

That's not a very good suggestion, what about the poor dogs that are friendly and able to be off the lead. I run Walkies Wednesday and we meet every week and have a vast diverse amount of dogs and people who attend. We have not had any issues with our dogs. Why not deal with the actual people who are the problem and not label every animal the same, you wouldn't do it to a human as its discrimination!!

2022-04-25 15:33:11

It's more like tackling dangerous owners !! Dogs are dogs but if owners can't train and control them then it's the owner who should be held to account

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-25 18:39:41

There are no bad dogs, just very bad owners. If you don't know your dog, keep it on lead , if you carnt trust your dog keep it on lead, if you know your dog is snappy, then when out use a muzzle. If you get a rescued dog, you must spend time getting to know your dog, training your dog, there better dogs for it. I've worked with greyhounds, and have had dogs all my life, the one I have now is X show dog, who didn't like the crates, who would , we got him aged 5, he was very nervous, very bad recall, would bolt at anything metal ,like a chair being pulled out, ect, I spent hours training him, hours near noisy places, hours whistle training him to come back. He turned from a very nervous dog, into such a loveing companion. His now 13, and it takes me an hour and harf to walk round just a field with him theses days , he trusts me, and I trust him, my pride and joy . So I say, get to know your dog, his ways, if there's something that troubles him, work with the dog to help him. And most importantly if you don't have the time to spend with them, then you probably shouldn't get a dog. There a life long comments.

2022-04-26 09:43:24

Observed last evening an owner trying to hold back an Alaskan Malamute dog but falling over in the attempt to stop it in it's attempts to get at another dog. A very near miss of what could have been a dreadful incident. The Alaskan Malamute is an enormously powerful dog bred and adapted to survive a minus 40 degree environment, for hauling sledges in the Artic and some to hunt seals. A magnificent dog, but are the streets of Harlow at an average of a 70 degree warmer environment and no snow, or sledges or seals a good environment for it? It seemed clear this dog was beyond the capacity of the owner and was a very cute puppy. The dog deserves better. It seems time to review what dogs can be brought into the uk and how to ensure every owner is extremely well trained to handle the dog they own. Just like motor vehicles the driver must have the right level of training and qualifications to drive different breeds of motor vehicle to ensure everyone is safe and in the case of dogs, that the dog is well trained, healthy and happy.

2022-04-26 21:56:47

How would this be enforced. The cost of setting a bylaw when the police cannot stop motorists using mobile phones, dog fouling, etc etc issues already in law

Kim Oconnor
2022-04-27 08:56:33

Novoman, I've experienced that a lot over years, people who carnt control there dogs. People who have dogs, for gard dogs, if you train your dog to attack, don't expect it to, not do so when out, I don't think this is good for your dog, or anybody else, you've trained your dog to be dangerous. If you buy big breed dogs, you must learn how to control them, they must be trained. If you know your dogs are temperamental keep it on lead. Because its no good telling people,,oh his never done that before,, next time it could be serious. Know your dog, train your dog, and get to know his or hers dislikes. And act responsible.

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