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Dog to be destroyed following pensioner bite

Posted in: Animal Bites 

A family dog has been branded a “weapon” and a “wild animal” after it attacked and injured an elderly woman.  The rescue dog, Buster, attacked 72-year-old Jean Holmes while she admired a plant display at a Lidl supermarket in Carlisle earlier this year. The 13-year-old Lurcher’s owner, David Stephenson, said that the dog had always been placid and friendly in the house, but admitted to owning an out-of-control dog that caused serious injury in court last week.

It was heard at the Carlisle magistrates court that Mrs Holmes had recogised the dog tied to some metal railings outside the supermarket. However, while inspecting the outdoor plants, she felt something grab at her left calf. When she looked down, the dog had bitten her and her leg was bleeding profusely.

“I accept you didn’t appreciate the potential of what that dog could do”

CCTV footage revealed that a number of shoppers had approached the dog while it was tied up outside the shop, and it failed to show signs of any aggressive behaviour.  

District Judge Gerald Chalk said: “You need to understand that possessing an animal of any sort means you possess a wild animal, at heart; an animal which can cause serious injury.” He added: “But I accept you didn’t appreciate the potential of what that dog could do”.

It was ruled that dog had to be destroyed, and that he would have to pay Mrs Holmes £200 in compensation. Mr Stephenson was also ordered to pay a fine of £100 and court costs of £85. Mr Stephenson said that he was going to appeal the destruction order, saying that he does not believe Buster to be a dangerous animal.

If you have suffered an animal-related injury, and are looking to claim compensation, please contact us.


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