The Daily Mail is reporting that a Japanese Akita, called Diesel, which grabbed 9 year old Amy Hryhoruk and clamped its jaws around her skull in a 'vice-like' grip, has been described by police as the most dangerous they have ever seen. Amy required 20 stitches as a result of the attack. Her father who came to her assistance required two operations after suffering bites to his hands and legs.
Mr Singh pleaded guilty to 'allowing a dog to enter a non-public place subsequently causing an injury' contrary to the 1996 Dog Control Act. Akita’s are not on the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The paper reports that Amy’s grandfather Peter Hryhoruk is now calling for the law to change to mean owners would face punishment for their dog’s actions even if they were not present at the time stating: "Mr Hryhoryuk, a retired Army Colonel, said: 'While we welcome this conviction and the punishment given we do feel sympathy for Mr Singh. 'Because of the bizarre way the law works with dangerous dogs he has had to carry the can so to speak because his son, who owns the dog, was not in.' Mr Hryhoruk went on to say: 'Amy is very lucky, it could have been much much worse. She has her own retriever, so has not become afraid of dogs. 'Simon though was really scarred. It took a long time to get over the injuries and he found it hard for a long time to cope. 'He would wake up in the middle of the night terrified that someone was going to take Amy.'" PC Keith Evans, of the West Midlands Police dangerous dog unit, said: 'The chances of him [Diesel] engaging in such a horrendous attack again are just massive. 'Hundreds or thousands of dogs I have dealt with, and Diesel is one of, if not the, most dangerous I have come across.' Solicitor James McNally who specialises in dog bite claims says that injuries caused by the Akita breed can be extremely serious and that the size and temperament of the dog mean that owners have to be able to control them and have to ensure that they are properly trained. "They are really beautiful animals and I can see why someone would want to own one but owners should think long and hard about whether or not they are the right dogs for them. For example if the owner isn't able to properly exercise the dog or have the strength to control it if things go wrong then they should think twice before taking responsibility for that animal. It isn't fair to the dog and isn't fair to the victims who get bitten." "The decision to prosecute Mr Singh also shows that it is not just the dog owner who needs to be responsible but those who might be deigned "keepers" of the animal. It really highlights how important it is for anyone who is entrusted with a dog's welfare to be responsible." Regarding Mr Hryhoruk's call for a change in the law Mr McNally says: "Every report of an attack carries comment at the ineffectual nature of the Dangerous Dogs Act. It is due to be reformed but there are serious doubts those reforms go far enough. Certainly they would not address Mr Hryhoruk's concerns. Specifically I feel that provision should be made for pet insurance to be compulsory for dog owners. In this instance the Court awarded the victims a £15 surcharge. If they have lost earnings or wish to claim for their injuries the only way for them to do so is via a civil claim and is there is not sufficient insurance in place then that £15 is all they are likely to get which is a paltry sum for such a horrific attack." If you have suffered a dog bite and wish to make an enquiry regarding a possible claim James McNally can be contacted via email [email protected] or 0333 888 0435.