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Wolverhampton dog attacks reach nearly 200

There have been nearly 200 dog attacks in Wolverhampton in the last five years, leading to more than 100 animals seized and 65 destroyed.


Last year alone, there were 48 attacks, with 32 dogs seized and 14 put down – although this number may increase as some cases are still in the judicial system awaiting decision.

A Freedom of Information request revealed the number of dog attacks in the city has seen a sharp increase since 2011, with the figure more than doubling from 2012 when there were 23 attacks.

The number of dogs being seized and destroyed has also seen an increase over the past five years, with the number of destructions more than trebling between 2012/13 to 2013/14 as it went from seven to 26.

There were 32 dog seizures both last year and the year before.

There have been several dog attacks in Wolverhampton over the past few months, including Gordon Mill who suffered puncture wounds to his wrists when two rottweilers launched a vicious 20-minute attack on him and his pet labrador. Good Samaritan Gary Thelwell was also knocked down and bitten several times in the back by a German shepherd when trying to help a pensioner who was struggling to walk in Ettingshall park.

West Midlands Police dog trainer, PC Keith Evans said: "Under current guidelines, police officers are advised to seize all dogs involved in attacks where injuries have been caused, to secure and preserve evidence and protect the public.

"Seized dogs are taken to secure kennels pending a court decision on whether they are returned to their owner or destroyed.

"Specially trained officers may offer an opinion to the court as to whether a dog poses a danger to public safety, but ultimately the court makes the final decision.

"We are currently in the process of revising our policy to allow more dogs to remain at home pending a court decision, where it is considered appropriate.

"We will only destroy a dog without the permission of the owner where there is an immediate danger to the public or officers. This is conducted by either a veterinary practitioner, or in a fast moving operational scenario, by specially trained firearms officers."

David Joyce, health and safety officer for the Communication Workers Union, which launched the Bite Back campaign, has blamed irresponsible owners for the number of dog attacks.

He said: "To coin my own phrase, the problem is on the other end of the lead.

"Irresponsible dog owners isolate their dogs, don't give them enough social contact and encourage them to be aggressive.

"We have 10 million dogs in the UK and growing. Most of these are well looked after and well presented but there is a growing number of irresponsible dog owners which needs to be addressed.

"I must say West Midlands Police are very good and have got their own dangerous dog unit which not many forces across the country have got.

"Wolverhampton is quite a problem area, it has seen an increase of 57 per cent with 12 attacks on postmen last year."

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