CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Woman recovering in hospital after dog attack in park

Camden Council has new powers to fine dog owners who do not keep their pets on leads

15 March, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

The woman suffered was bitten in her arms and legs in Cantelowes Park [Pic: UpCamdenRoad]

A WOMAN in her 60s is recovering in hospital after being attacked by three dogs in a Camden Town park.

The victim, who was walking her dog in Cantelowes Park at lunchtime on Monday, was injured by a bull terrier-type dog and two others, witnesses said. She suffered severe bites to her legs, arm and torso.

The attack comes just three weeks after the Town Hall said it would use new public spaces protection orders (PSPOs) – likened to parking tickets – to fine dog owners who do not keep their pets on a lead.

Camden Council is banning dogs from some council-managed spaces such as games areas, outdoor gyms, water features and picnic areas, again with the threat of financial penalties when rules are broken. The new policies came after a three-year study of how to improve canine control in parks and streets following a series of incidents involving dogs off leads.

A witness to the attack at Cantelowes Park told the New Journal: “It was about 1.30pm and she had been walking her dog, a Bichon, when the dogs attacked her. One of the park managers was there and took her into the park office and gave her some medical aid while they waited for an ambulance.

She was clearly very upset.” Another witness added that she had been pulled to the ground by a bull terrier-type dog. “It was in front of a lot schoolchildren – and it could have just as easily been one of them who was attacked,” the witness added.

The New Journal has learned that the woman, who lives in Kentish Town, was still in hospital yesterday (Wednesday), though it is believed she is due to be discharged following treatment to puncture wounds and stitches.

Councillor Jonathan Simpson

Community safety chief Labour councillor Jonathan Simpson said: “We know that the majority of dog owners are responsible. However, we regularly hear from our residents with concerns relating to anti-social behaviour associated with a minority of irresponsible owners. These include complaints relating to the fear and intimidation caused when dogs are not controlled or misused by their owners.”

He added: “Such lack of control can result in attacks on other animals and, even though rare, attacks on humans can occur. “To address these issues we have implemented a public spaces protection order, which will initially be in place for three years.”

The council’s policies follow well-publicised incidents in the past three years. One saw a pit bull attack a small child in Gospel Oak in 2014, causing facial injuries.

Another took place in Castlehaven Gardens when a community worker was severely bitten by two dogs, and the third involved a dog chasing a cat into a flat in Highgate Road and attacking a man inside his home.

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