Blame the owners, not the dogs

Story by Graham Jones

In the past couple of months there have been at least two human casualties of uncontrolled dogs in this area which have been reported to the police. One attack was on a sixteen-year old boy in Osgathorpe Park, the other was on a young woman in Abbeyfield Park. Similar attacks have occurred in other parts of Sheffield. In September a cat was savaged and killed on Scott Road by a dog on a lead. At the time local people informed the police of their concerns that people might be the next victims of dogs.

In the last issue of the Burngreave Messenger we were saddened to report that dozens of trees in Burngreave Cemetery had been damaged or destroyed by dogs. It was suggested that dogs are coerced to damage the trunks of the trees to strengthen their jaws for illegal purposes, including
dog fighting. Over the summer, the bodies of three dead dogs in rubbish bags near Crabtree Pond was possible further evidence of dogs being forcibly used for brutal dog fighting. Most dogs used for fighting will ultimately either be killed in the ring, die as a result of their injuries or in some cases be killed by their owners. Chief Inspector Mike Butcher of the RSPCA animal charity says: “Dog fighting is an abhorrent, cruel activity, sickening to any right-minded member of the public. It’s one of the most extreme forms of animal cruelty the RSPCA investigates.”

It is essential that all our readers report any attacks by dogs whether on humans or other animals to the police on 101 or via the South Yorkshire Police website www.southyorks.police.uk/reportcrime

Otherwise, if you have any evidence of dog fighting, you can contact the RSPCA with guaranteed confidentiality on 0300 1234 999. The League Against Cruel Sports also have a ‘crime watch’ hotline on 01483 361 108, or at crimewatch@league.org.uk

Both of these organisations have further information on their websites. Please also let the Burngreave Messenger know if you are aware of any other information related to this subject locally.