Man who was bitten by dog told to take it home by police

by Mark James on December 17, 2010

A man was left shocked when police instructed him to take home a stray dog that had just savaged him.

Martin Seymour was set upon by a Staffordshire Bull terrier whilst he was walking his own pet dog near his home in Lincolnshire. The vicious dog attacked the hapless 32 year old without any provocation, and sank its teeth into the man’s leg, breaking the skin.

Mr Seymour managed to wrestle free from the dog, and even managed to get a leash on it as it was wearing a dog collar. Not wanting to leave the crazed animal wandering the streets, he walked the dog round to his local police station to hand it in, but it was closed. He then he phoned the police station and was left stunned at the advice they gave him. He recounted:

“An officer turned up and said he couldn’t take the dog, so asked me if I could keep it for the night and call the dog warden in the morning.”

“I told the police that I had two young children and I wasn’t prepared to take a vicious dog back into my home – but at the same time, I couldn’t just let it go, because it might have gone for another child.”

Mr Seymour decided to walk the dog to see if it would guide him to its home, when he received a call from another police officer stating that the dog had been reported missing, and could he take it back to the owner.

A week later, Martin contacted the police to see if any charges had been brought against the owner, but was amazed to discover that no action had been taken because they didn’t have the owner’s address, despite giving it to him just days before.

He stated:

“I was shocked by the police’s reaction to the whole incident.”

“I gave them the address again, and they said someone would go round.”

“I just can’t believe the way I was treated.”

A Lincolnshire Police spokesperson, commenting on the incident, said:

“Mr Seymour reported back to say he felt the owner was not conscientious in terms of his attitude towards his dog getting out on to the street.”

“Based on this report, neighbourhood policing officers visited the owner and gave him advice on his responsibilities as a dog owner.”

“No offences have been committed and no further action will be taken. Staffordshire bull terriers are not listed on the Dangerous Dogs Act list.”

Of course, whether the dog is listed as a dangerous dog or not – the owner has an obligation to ensure that his dog does not cause injury to someone else – and Mr Seymour would be well within his rights to sue for personal injury.

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