Trellech dog attack woman backs owners' crackdown
1:01pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
A MONMOUTHSHIRE woman savaged by a neighbour's dog is backing a law firm's call for tougher and quicker action on irresponsible owners.
Caroline Lyness, from Trellech, has been scarred for life, physically and mentally, after being bitten on the thigh by the German Shepherd in September last year.
The attack came as she was heading home and now 62-year-old Mrs Lyness and husband Brian, 64, even put the rubbish out in their car for fear of them being set upon.
In May, the couple saw the owner fined after pleading guilty to allowing the animal to be dangerously out of control.
The dog was ordered to be destroyed but despite contacting the police, Mrs Lyness has not found out if this has been done.
She is backing Irwin Mitchell's call for the Government to bring forward plans to make it compulsory for all dogs in England to be microchipped from 2016 and extend laws governing dog attacks to cover incidents on private property.
The law firm also wants consideration given to tougher action.
David Urpeth, a partner at Irwin Mitchell who has seen a rise in the number of dog bite claims, said: “We have repeatedly stated that compulsory licensing and insurance for dog owners would be important steps towards ensuring those with dogs understand their responsibilities.
“The latter would also ensure that victims seriously injured in such attacks have the chance to access vital funds which will support them during their recovery and rehabilitation – something which does emerge as an issue in some of the cases we are involved in. Shockingly, this reasonable idea seems to have been ignored completely."
A number of people have been killed in dog attacks this year.
These include 14-year-old Jade Anderson at a house in Atherton and79-year-old Clifford Clarke from Liverpool.
Mrs Lyness said: “I am happy that steps are being taken to address some of the issues around this, but am shocked that compulsory insurance for owners has not been considered.
“All of the measures seem so focused on holding irresponsible owners to account that the impact attacks have on victims and their need for support seem to have just been ignored. This is not good enough and more must be done.”
The couple have now decided to move to Scotland for Mrs Lyness to try and banish the dreadful memories.
She said: "I carry a stick with me all the time. I live in fear of another attack. The dog could have knocked a child down and mauled it."
Mrs Lyness still has the dog's teeth marks in her thigh from the bite, which left her bleeding and walking painfully.
"I think people who are guilty of having a dangerous dog should be banned from owning or breeding them. Enough is enough", she added.
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