Dog injures three in Saumarez Park attack
THREE people and a dog were injured when they were attacked by a Staffordshire bull terrier in Saumarez Park yesterday lunchtime.
None of the injuries to the people were said to be life-threatening.
The animal which carried out the attack was shot dead by police on the authorisation of the States vet.
Guernsey Police received multiple 999 calls about the incident just before midday.
Armed and unarmed officers were deployed and took over from members of the public who had been containing the dog.
The Staffordshire was said to still be behaving in ‘an extremely aggressive manner’.
The States vet attended and on his advice authorisation was given to firearms officers to ‘dispatch the dog and neutralise the threat it posed’.
A Bailiwick Law Enforcement spokesman said: ‘We are establishing the circumstances around how the dog came to be attacking people in the park.
‘We are liaising with the owner of the Staffordshire, and anyone with information is asked to contact us on 725111.
‘We would like to commend the brave actions of the public who intervened by restraining the dog as emergency services were en route – their actions undoubtedly prevented further injury.’
Under the 1992 Control of Dogs ordinance, dogs are banned from the children’s play area and must be on a lead on the ‘playing fields’ at the park.
Gary Murchie, who owns a shih tzu, was at the park yesterday afternoon with his granddaughter.
He said although news of the attack would not put him off going to the park again. He said it reinforced the importance of keeping dogs on leads in public spaces.
‘If the dog has a history of being aggressive it would be silly of the owner to bring them into a public area, but we don’t know all the circumstances yet.
‘I am not for any dog being put down but one has to assume that the States vet would not have recommended this without good cause.’
Mr Murchie believed dogs often act on instinct, particularly in stressful situations, and said until more details were known blame could not be assigned solely to the owner.
Nicola Broad was walking her Daxon-cross rescue dog from Spain at the park and said she had never heard of a dog attack of this scale in Guernsey before.
‘In my opinion it’s the owners fault because you should have control of your dog. It’s scary that dogs are not kept on leads in public because dog fights can be really, really horrible.’
Dog owner Georgie Rigden said it was a shame to hear about the attack.
‘This is really rare, I come up here a lot and pretty much everyone keeps their dogs on a leash.’
‘If you have got a dog that is aggressive then sometimes you cannot take that out of them, no matter how hard you try.
But if you treat your dog badly some will get unnecessarily aggressive – I think there’s a combination of nature and nurture to how dogs behave.’
There are signs at the park stating that dogs should be kept on leads
Across the road from the back car park is Home Farm field where dogs can be taken of their leads, as well as the Saumarez nature trail.
- This story has been updated after police changed the number of people and dogs injured in the attack