Rye Observer Comment

THE story of a Rye man’s year of pain after being savaged by an out of control dog on the Rye Harbour nature reserve is quite shocking.

What is more shocking, though increasingly commonplace, was the owner’s response of swearing at him and berating him for having dared get in the way of their dog; as if it was his fault he had been badly bitten.

It comes at a time when the Government are bringing in long-overdue measures to protect people from being attacked and bitten by dogs.

The owners in the case above were rightly prosecuted but in most cases owners seem to evade responsibility for their dog’s behaviour.

Dog owners frequently seem to have a covenient blind-spot when it comes to their pets and often, rather arrogantly, assume that because they love and adore their pet then everyone else must as well.

How often have we heard them trot out the phrase “He’s only being friendly” when their dog leaps up at someone.

The Observer received a letter from a little girl in Rye who spelled it out when she said that she felt intimated and frightened when dogs charged toward her or jumped up at her and that she had her clothes ruined by muddy paw-prints.

Dog owners have a duty to show respect and consideration to other people and need to remember that not everyone is a dog-lover.