CALLS have been made for a prosecution after a child was injured by a dog on Lyme Regis beach.
Councillor Owen Lovell has asked fellow members of the town council to support a prosecution against the dog owner for “failing to have the dog under control”, and said he hopes policies regarding dogs on the beach will be reviewed.
Under West Dorset District Council’s current policies, dogs are allowed on the main sandy beach in winter without a lead.
Speaking at a recent meeting, Councillor Lovell reported that a 12-year-old boy was left with bites and bruising on Saturday, December 1 after a dog leapt up at him several times.
Councillor Lovell said the dog owner tried to call the animal back, but it “failed to respond and was not under control”.
“It wasn’t on a lead and this is the very thing I want to make an issue of,” he added.
“We were promised when the regulation to allow dogs on the beach without leads was put in, it would be reviewed.
“With all that’s going on at district with the unitary authority, I want us to make sure that the dog laws do get reviewed and we get controls on dogs on the beach. It’s an absolute disgrace.
“The poor dog warden goes down and tells someone to put their dog on a lead because it’s dangerous in the middle of summer, but in the winter he’s got no control. He gets told to leave the beach because people don’t have any respect and he doesn’t get enough support from this council or West Dorset and I think they do a very good job under very difficult circumstances.
“This poor child will probably be scared of dogs for the rest of his life.”
Councillor Lovell said the grandparents of the child, who were with him on the beach, had photos of his injuries and of the dog and its owner.
Councillor Lovell added: “I’d like this council to support a prosecution. We have to prosecute for dogs failing to be under control, it’s just not good enough at the moment.
“West Dorset don’t like to spend money of this thing but just think of the impact it would make on the life of the enforcement officers if only someone was to prosecute.”
It was agreed that the matter would be dealt with at a future committee meeting.
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