16th November 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Is the sheriff anti-dog? (Stella Smith)

Don’t get me wrong if you read this. I have great sympathy for any animal or person who has been attacked, but I am left wondering if our sheriff is anti-dog.

This past while quite a few dogs have been ordered to be put down with no second chance. The one last week was off the lead, so why was the owner not ordered to have the dog on a harness/lead while out in a public place? Dogs are like bairns – they only know what they are taught.

How many people have been given third or fourth chances for assault etc? If they same punishment was given, sheriffs would not be so hard worked.

Stella Smith
41 Nederdale,
Lerwick.

7 comments

  1. Wayne Conroy

    I have to agree that it seems the sheriff is anti-dog.

    As Stella Smith states it seems the problems with these dogs lately should lay with the owners and their lack of ability to control their dogs and not with the dog itself as a dog only knows what it is taught. It is wrong to just dispose of these dogs as their behaviour could be controlled or rectified in a short time by being rehomed with a responsible owner.

    The old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a load of nonsense! All the dogs I have owned have previously belonged to someone else. I always choose to rehome a dog from a shelter (rather than help puppy farmers increase their pockets or encourage careless owners who add to the homeless dog problem by not getting their dog neutered)

    In the past I have purposefully taken on older dogs with behavioural problems (as these are the hardest to find homes for) but after working with them for a short time they have become well behaved or I have controlled them in situations where problems may arise. If there is a problem with your dog (for example a dislike of other dogs or cats) it is the owners responsibility to retrain their dog or keep it under control.

    In my opinion microchipping should be mandatory and they should bring back a revised dog license scheme (also mandatory) to encourages responsible ownership of dogs and accountability for their actions.

    As a final note I have to say that I also feel cat owners should be held responsible for the behaviour of their cats. There is a large number of cats in Lerwick who actually stalk and attack dogs who act in a submissive manner towards them. Why should it be one rule for dog owners and another for owners of cats? I train my dogs to be friendly towards cats by properly socialising them (one of my dogs best pals is my friends cat) but what is a dog to do when a cat leaps out and attacks it?

    Pet ownership should be a privilege held for those that can be a responsible owner.

    Reply
  2. I also agree that the sheriff seems to have something against dogs, in particular certain types of dog. I am the very proud owner of 2 Rotties & 1 Staffie and I have to say they are all happy healthy well adjusted loving dogs, my 2nd rottie is only 8 wks old! I fully believe that if you decide to get a dog you HAVE to be prepared to put the time and effort in to make sure you have a lovely well adjusted dog! Just like a baby they do not come with a manual, bad behaviour is learned not “in them” as alot of people seem to think. We are dealing with alot of ignorant people & just because we choose to have “dangerous breeds” we are always having to justify our actions. My dogs are a joy, they are loyal very friendly, rarely bark & love everyone they meet.

    If a human was to commit a crime they seem to get chance after chance, I would assume that a dog should be given one chance and removed from its owner to be put with someone that knows what they’re doing.

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not condoning the fact that the cat was killed, that was a shame but the young lady did do everything possible to try and help.

    My dogs are afraid of cats and avoid them at all costs, I always have cats coming into my garden, uninvited so whats the difference? There does seem to be one rule for dogs & one for cats.

    Infact the law states that if a cat comes into your garden & your dog attacks or even kills it then its the cat owners fault as they should have been in control of the cat. But if your dog goes into their garden and harms their cat its then your fault for not having proper control of your dog.

    Reply
  3. ian tinkler

    I have many (5 rescues +3) dogs and like all dogs they misbehave from time to time. I live amongst sheep and do my utmost to prevent sheep worrying and general nuisance to my fellow crofters. I regret sometimes with only limited success, but however, I must accept that if they were out of control they could be as dangerous as any firearm. In the wrong hands and with an unsuitable owner they are dangerous. Of that there is no question, sad but true…The law has no choice but to remove an out of control dog. The most humane way is often only euthanasia. Sometimes I feel the delinquent owner should be euthanized as well, however the law says otherwise and I have to agree with that. It is the owner’s most imperative responsibility, control their dog or risk losing it.

    Reply
  4. Colin Hunter

    Anybody who thinks a cat “owner” can actually influence the behaviour of the beast has probably never “owned” one! My understanding of the law regarding cat ownership is that the cat is classed as a wild animal which just chooses to live with you, therefore you cannot be held responsible for it’s misdemanours. The Dog, on the other hand, is your responsibility under law. I do, however, think that it is socially unacceptable to allow Tom cats to remain “intact” due to their “territorial ” marking. Namely, peeing all over everything! I also think it’s the right thing to do to spay female cats as well. Also, it’s not very nice when next door’s moggy thinks your newly weeded flower bed would make a nice toilet, no more than standing in what a dog has left behind on a pavement or roadside verge. I have had cats in the past, mainly as pets, but also for vermin control. Old houses in particular are difficult to make rodent proof. There is a well known saying among cat people which goes, Dogs have owners. Cats have staff! I have never owned a dog, but have had dealings with many over the years. Most have been placid and good natured, and one in particular, A Rottweiler, a breed normally regarded as somewhat dodgy, was as daft as a brush!
    It is a shame when a dog goes out of control and does something like this, It is most unfortunate that the animal in question was put down, despite the owners attempts to intervene. We can just be thankful that it wasn’t a small child.

    Reply
  5. Ann McLachlan

    I grew up with dogs and although working commitments prevent us from keeping one now, I would love to have another one in the future. I was horrified to read the story about the dog killing the cat and was immediately reminded of something my elder brother(a vet) said a few years ago.

    “Cats are not much different in size to babies”.

    We have to remember that dogs are, afterall, descended from wolves. They can be beautiful, intelligent, fun and loyal but we have to respect what they are and where they have come from and look after them responsibly.

    Reply
  6. ian tinkler

    In response to Ann’s comment, wolves are no direct threat to humanity. Believe it or not there is no record beyond folk law of wolves having ever predated man. We are simply not their prey species. Rare attacks may happen but nearly always as a result of illness, rabies for example…The wolf is biologically programmed to hunt herbivore species only, that way mutual parasites and diseases are avoided. The problems, with dogs, comes when dogs are poorly trained and simple go out of control. It is almost invariable their owners, breeders or handlers at fault, or a combination of all three. As previously stated in the wrong hands, a powerful dog is as dangerous as any firearm. In the correct hands, with half decent breeding, a dog is a wonderful companion, guard and pet. Frequently fearlessly saving human life often at the cost of its own. The law is very sadly wholly incompetent in regulating dog ownership and breeding. It is very sad but a dog which goes out of control, under the law is nearly always put down, but what is the alternative?

    Reply
  7. Ron Stronach

    Put the owner down instead?

    Reply

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