Update: the coroner’s report has revealed that dog walker Natasha Johnson died from neck wounds that punctured her jugular. In the same week, yet another fatality was recorded in Milton Keynes and the poor “family” dog has been euthanised as a result. The fate of the dogs in the Caterham incident has yet to be decided even though the police have stated that no prosecutions will be brought. How many more dogs must die before something is done to educate the public, train are dogs using positive reinforcement and compel dog walkers and boarders to be sufficiently qualified and experienced backed up by the resources to reinforce it.
2022 was the worst year on record for fatal incidents involving dogs and now, barely half way through the first month of 2023, we have another.
A dog walker was killed in what seems to be a case of re-directed aggression. The fate of the eight dogs has yet to be established. If, as has so far been surmised, the dogs were in a ruck and the walker became entangled in their leads, it only goes to show how poor the skills of so-called professionals are. Whilst anyone can be involved in an accident, dog walkers need to know that it takes more than just holding the lead, liking dogs and taking clients’ money to be a professional.
Dog walkers need to be fully trained and licensed as well as regulated and we desperately need the resources to police it. Moreover, as this item emphasises, people should not get a dog unless they are prepared to mostly look after it themselves. We all need help from time to time, but if it’s on a daily basis, what’s the point in having a dog?