Dog Watch

Vernon Coleman

I love animals. I have spent much of my life fighting for animals. I wrecked my medical career fighting against animal experiments. I have campaigned against meat eating, hunting and a myriad other forms of animal abuse.

But Iím afraid dogs have become a real problem.

Antoinette and I no longer go on country walks because everywhere we go there are loose, out of control dogs. Fear of dogs is not a phobia or an irrational thought when increasing number of walkers are being bitten Ė seriously. In fact, it is unnatural and unhealthy not to be afraid of dogs these days.

In the summer, most seaside resorts put up signs warning dog owners that the beach is out of bound for dogs.

No one takes any notice.

Pleasant footpaths have become frightening places because of loose dogs running ahead of their owners.

And dog owners hardly ever seem to pick up their dogsí faeces.

If they do they then hang their little plastic bags on the nearest tree Ė or toss them into the bushes or a nearby garden.

And curiously, it is dog walkers who seem to be listened to by the authorities.

Health and Safety officials do nothing about dangerous dogs off the lead and seem happy to allow dogs into food shops but when one dog walker complained that she/he felt unsafe near to a herd of cattle in the Peak District, the Health and Safety Executive forced the farmer to slaughter the cattle.

The law in the UK is quite straightforward: it is illegal to let a dog loose in any public place if anyone is likely to be concerned or alarmed. The dog doesnít have to bite anyone. The law is quite firm on this. (I have detailed the legislation elsewhere on this site.)

The problem isnít the dogs, of course.

Itís those people who have dogs which they cannot control.

And who donít give a damn about other people.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2019