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Medway Council prepares to toughen dog policy after series of attacks

By Nicola Jordan

Dog owners will face an £80 if they fail to keep their pet on a lead while near a road.

There was confusion this week over council plans to bring in a new law but the council confirmed this morning that the legislation will come into effect on Monday.

Details appeared on Medway Council’s website and were highlighted by a reader on the Medway Messenger Facebook page.

Dog owner Julie Paxton Anderson accused the council of “quietly forcing through a dog court order”.

Chase was put down after attacking a neighbour

She wrote on our page: “It just smacks of a new way to get money out of locals."

The council website stated earlier this week that owners might also be instructed by warden to put their animals on a leash in parks but the item was then taken down.

Last week a spokesman said that the scheme would not be going ahead on Monday but was likely to be at the end of this month - however the council has now changed its mind.

Trevor Smith, secretary of the Medway Towns Training Club, was unaware of new legislation but said: “You never know when a dog might get spooked by a car, a motorbike or a rabbit. My dogs chase squirrels.

Rachel Potter

“And you have to ask yourself: Is it fair to get an £80 fine if your dog is off the lead and totally under control. Another problem is how is it going to be enforced? Staffing could be an issue and I can’t see the police getting involved.”

The new law follows a number of dog incidents in Medway. We reported how a dog owner said she felt forced to have her Staffordshire bull terrier cross destroyed after it escaped under a fence and attacked a neighbour sunbathing.

The injuries to Rachel Potter's arm

Rachel Potter, of Hawthorn Road, Strood needed hospital treatment after two-year-old Chase left her with bite marks on her arm. Chase’s owner Denise Smith said she felt pressurised into having the rescue animal destroyed after media coverage had forced police to take action.

These dogs were seen ripping a pet cat apart

At Medway Gate in Strood, a cat owner had to watch video footage of his pet being ripped apart by three wild dogs.

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