More than 35 dangerous dogs have been put to sleep in Hyndburn since the start of the year, shock figures have revealed.
Hyndburn Council has received dozens of complaints about dangerous dogs in 2013 - with a reported surge in the popularity of ‘pitbull-types’ and American bulldogs across the borough.
Council bosses said the dogs that have been destroyed are from the list of banned breeds, which includes animals such as Pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas and Dogo Argentinos. Once a dog is identified as being a banned then police dog legislation officers are called from Preston to make a formal identification. The dog is then signed over to the police who pursue a destruction order under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Dog warden Gordon Farmer warned the dogs have become ‘the latest fashion accessory’ for youngsters with some owners training them to ‘attack on command’. He said that 35 dogs had been out down since the start.
He also revealed:
- A woman was taken to hospital requiring stitches after a dog bit her in the stomach at her home.
- Two guide dogs worth £50,000 each have been attacked by dangerous dogs in Hyndburn.
- Teenage owners are training dogs to fight by making them hang from trees and branches and hold on with their teeth’. At a meeting of Baxenden area council, Mr Farmer called for legislation to be introduced, in a bid to curb attacks on people and other animals.
He said there had been 68 complaints about dangerous dogs already this year, while more than 200 dogs have been kennelled.
Mr Farmer said: “It's getting popular for people to have these types of dogs and quite prevalent at the moment is the America bulldog. They are massive dogs, very very powerful, they are normally non-violent but certain people are trying to get them to be that way and with a dog that way it’s extremely dangerous.
“We had one which I had to take out of a house four weeks ago after it bit a woman in her stomach and put her in hospital with stitches. In an ideal world I would like there to be legislation which says dogs should be on a lead in a public place as it would solve a lot of problems.”
Illegal dogs include pitbull terrier or pitbull-type, Japanese Tosa, Fila Brasileiro and the Dogo Argentino.
Mr Farmer said all these dogs are ‘bred for fighting’ but cross-breeding with other dogs is making identification more difficult.
He said: “We know people are breeding pitbulls with Labradors and other such breeds to try and disguise what they are.
“At the moment it seems to be the latest fashion accessory to have these things.
“If they are around 16 or 17 years of age they want one of these dogs and they want them to be able to attack on command.
“Some of them are trying to get them to do that by getting them to hang from trees and branches, getting them to bite hold and it's very dangerous.”