Justice Wanted for Dog Attack Victim Binx
At around 1pm on a Sunday back in April this year, a cat named Binx was chased by a neighbour's dog and tragically shaken to death. The family found his lifeless body at around 8pm in some bushes outside their house. The family have CCTV cameras to the front and back of their property and on reviewing the footage they discovered that Binx had been chased by a dog into the bushes where they later found him. The footage doesn't show anything graphic, but it shows that the dog was off lead and that the owners were not in sight of their dog and therefore not in control. The following morning the family took Binx to the vet so that his body could be examined. They were hoping the vet would find an alternative cause of death and what had happened was all just a bad dream. They didn't want to believe a dog had killed their special wee boy. The vet did indeed confirm that Binx's injuries were consistent with a dog attack.
To say the family were devastated is an understatement. They had lost animals before but never in such horrendous circumstances. Binx was just two and a half years old, and the sweetest boy who loved being outside and coming in later on for a cuddle on a warm lap after a long day of doing cat things. He had the loudest purr the family have ever heard in their lives. The Trimmer family adopted him along with his sister from a cat rescue about two years prior. To some he was just a cat, but to the Trimmer's he was a huge part of their family and lives. They battled for a long time with the upset of feeling that he passed alone, scared and in pain.
The Trimmer's live in a relatively new housing development in Midlothian and it had always felt like a nice place to live to them but, after Binx's incident, they didn't want to step outside the front door as they can't face seeing the bushes where they found him, or seeing the dog in question again as it lives in the next street over. The family don't blame the dog but they do blame the owners for being so irresponsible and not keeping their dog under control, as is also requested of them by law. The family spoke to the dog owners and they were completely oblivious to what had happened. The CCTV footage shown they were so far away from their dog, who ran around a corner then proceeded to chase Binx into the bushes, that by the time they caught up with their dog the mauling had occurred and it was all over. They didn't see my Binx, they didn't see the mauling and were completely unaware of what had happened just minutes prior as they walked past the bushes where he lay. When the family told them what had happened, they were totally shocked and couldn't understand how their dog could be capable of such a thing, and they couldn't understand the hurt that has been caused by their irresponsible actions. The Trimmer's love dogs, and even have their own called Nova who Binx was best friends with (pictured). The family appreciate they have an instinct to chase cats, but they rightly felt like the owner should take reasonable action to prevent such incidents from happening, especially when not doing so means they are breaking the law.
Teegan contacted the dog warden and police Scotland. The dog warden viewed the CCTV footage and agreed to contact the dog owners. The police also made a record of the incident. As a result, the local dog warden served the owners with a Control Dog Notice. The family have tried to reach out to the dog's owners but they refuse to take responsibility. This has upset the family and made it harder for them to move forward.
While these legal proceedings were going on, Binx was cremated and returned home to the family and they have a nice bird table out front with a plague dedicated to Binx. The family have also installed protect-a-pet in a bid to help keep their remaining cats safe.
Over the last 5 months, the family are still struggling with Binx' loss Teegan is now almost halfway through her first pregnancy and the family are currently trying to move house due to not being happy there since losing Binx. The dog owners just live across the road, and every time Teegan walks out of her front door, she is reminded of what happened that awful day. The family still grieving for Binx, a process which has been made harder by still seeing that dog and its owners from time to time. Frustratingly, the dog owners are still not behaving responsibly and keeping their dog on a lead. The family want to focus on the good memories of Binx, but this is being shadowed by this issue which feels as though it has not been resolved. The family are desperate to stop this happening, endangering other animals on top of forcing such awful memories back to the surface.
In the footage (below), it clearly shows the dog chasing Binx into the bushes and they go off camera for a little while then. When the owner finally calls the dog, it is already too late and the dog emerges from the bushes. Binx does not emerge. The vet said Binx was most likely shaken, causing fatal internal injuries and trauma.
The family got less than two years with Binx, but in this time he managed to leave his mark on the family. He was always the one the family knew they had to keep an extra eye on, as he was always the most mischievous one getting stuck and lost in weird places. He had a knack of getting into a bit of trouble, but never did the family think this could happen, not in such a quiet self contained development.
What you can do
Dogs must be kept on leads by law throughout the UK, with the exception of parks and wooded areas unless the local authority has imposed a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) excluding dogs from a certain area, or require them to be on lead. Usually this will be made clear in the form of a notification sign at the park entrance. It is an offence to allow a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere in public and private places, and action could be taken against the dog owner under section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. If the police do not take action the other possible recourse is to take civil action against the dog owner under Section Two of the Dogs Act 1871, depending on the circumstances.
If you sadly find yourself in this position, you will need to contact your local dog warden. This link has some useful contacts for regions across the UK. It is also advised you contact your local police and speak to the Dog Legislation Officer (DLO). Every police service should have a trained dog legislation officer in the region who is specially trained in the legislation surrounding dogs, and will usually work with the local dog warden on cases.
Laws are in place due to the law regarding dogs as a potential hazard to people, property and vehicles. There is no such thing as a bad dog - just bad and irresponsible owners.