Legal Action Taken After Fatal Dog-on-Dog Attack

Local woman required to sign Acceptable Behaviour Contract

Joint efforts by the borough’s dog control team and itssafer parks police team have led to the identification of a woman whose dog was said to be responsible for a fatal attack on a Yorkshire Terrier on Tooting Common last month.

The woman, who has been traced to an address in Tooting, has now been required to sign an acceptable behaviour contract (ABC) to ensure her dog remains under firm and strict control. Lawyers are also reviewing witness statements obtained following the incident to determine whether she should also be prosecuted in the magistrates court for breaching open-space bylaws.

Anyone convicted of breaching Wandsworth’s parks and commons bylaws faces a maximum fine of £500.

Under the terms of the ABC she must:

  • Keep her dog on a leash and muzzled at all times whilst in a public place
  • Never leave it unattended in public
  • Must ensure that her dog, or any other dog in her care, “does not attack, act aggressively towards or interfere with any other dog or animal”.

The contract also bans her from doing anything ”which causes or is likely to cause nuisance, annoyance or harassment, alarm or distress to anyone”.
If these terms are breached either the council or the police could take further legal action against her.

Community safety spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “Our dog wardens and the safer parks team have acted very swiftly and effectively to identify this owner and ensure that her dog remains under very firm control whenever it is in a public place.

“The stringent rules she has agreed to abide by should ensure the safety of other dogs in the area. If however, she breaches any of the terms of the agreement then tougher sanctions are likely to follow very quickly.

“The council will not hesitate in taking legal action against owners who do not control their dogs properly or allow their pets to cause nuisance or harm to others.”

June 17, 2014