Dog Fed Lager Attacks Boy: Who Do You Blame?
Joseph Pickering, is 10. He was bitten by a Staffordshire bull terrier named Diesel that had been fed a can of Stella Artois – “because it was thirsty”.
Joseph had leaned over the garden fence of his home in Colne in Lancashire. He wanted to stroke next door’s dog.
The dog attacks him.
Joseph’s family launched a civil action, citing the Dangerous Dogs Act. The accusation is that the owners did not keep the dog under control. Polie want to destroy the dog. But the law forbids it.
At Burnley magistrates’ court, the Beak hears that Diesel had been fed beer by the owner’s uncle. Before the attack, Diesel had been a “generally good-natured dog”.
Says Joseph’s mother, Carolann Dickson:
“I think it’s disgusting that the dog won’t be put down after all the pain and everything we’ve been through. Joe’s been having nightmares and he’s very apprehensive. When he goes out he’s worried about dogs coming up and down the street.”
James Holmes owns Diesel. He admits to owning a dangerous dog. He hired an animal psychologist, David Gilman, to assess Diesel. Says the experts:
“If a dog has carried out an unprovoked attack on a child I would say it should be destroyed, but the circumstances here were absolutely bizarre. I can’t underestimate what the effects of giving beer to a dog on a hot day would be but we all know the consequences that it led to. Just like humans, drinking outside in the sun would have had effects on the dog’s brain which I believe would lead to this behaviour.”
Meanwhile, the uncle who fed beer to a dangerous animal is free to own a dog.