I recently met Gaye Fisher through Facebook and I am so pleased that she reached out to talk about something that is very close to my heart. Our dogs are sentient beings and should be recognised in our society as such.
She’s been working very hard to getting the word out about our beloved dogs and the status they currently hold in the country. I know this can be a hard, changing laws always are, however, I admire her for all she is doing so well.
Read her story and join the cause. A dog is more than a product purchased.
By Gaye Fisher,
Tragically our little Jackapoo was mauled to death in a local park just over two months ago. My husband witnessed his appalling death and is still traumatised by the whole episode.
Since then I have been active on many local Facebook dog walking groups and have come to realize that this was by no means an isolated event.
Nicky Morgan, MP, raised the matter in Parliament last year on behalf of some of her constituents who had suffered in the same way.
While we know that dogs can attack humans, sometimes with tragic consequences, in recent years there has been an increase in the number of dogs attacking other dogs. Under current legislation, a dog on dog attack is not a criminal offense and therefore no criminal charges can be brought. In many cases, the owners of the aggressor dog just walk away. Irresponsible dog owners know that they can act with impunity.
Towards the end of 2016, Nicky Morgan put in a freedom of information request to all police forces in England for information on how many such attacks had been reported in the past two years. Only 14 out of 39 forces had readily accessible data and were able to respond. The total number of dog on dog attacks reported was 1,700. Sussex police alone recorded 828 attacks.
According to Direct Line Insurance, an estimated 64,000 dogs died in the same way over a 12 month period. A further 44,000 suffered life-changing injuries and vets bills for owners topped £458 million. That’s over 100,000 traumatised owners and this doesn’t take into account the effect on other family members, particularly young children. As well as being an animal welfare issue it is a huge and avoidable mental health issue.
An amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 came into force in 2014 and it is now a criminal offense for a dog to attack an assistance dog. I would like to see a further amendment whereby companion dogs are classified in the same way.
I will be starting a Petition shortly calling for companion dogs to be reclassified as sentient beings but am acutely aware that relatively few Petitions are successful. I am therefore taking time to conduct research and consult with other petitioners.
In the meantime, I have set up a Facebook Group “Justice for Brody & Companion Dogs” to gather support for my campaign. If you share my view, please join the Group and share widely.
Quebec, New Zealand, and France have all welcomed pets into the circle of “sentient beings” beings by granting them many of the same rights as children in the eyes of the law. They are no longer regarded as mere property like an iPhone or umbrella. It’s time that Britain followed suit, it’s time.
DOGS THINK, DOGS LOVE, DOGS FEEL.