Dog owner banned from owning her dog and fined
15th December 2021
The owner of a dog which attacked and seriously injured two cats has been fined and banned from keeping the animal.
Paula Rogers, of Clitheroe Gardens, South Oxhey was convicted of six offences of failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice (CPN). They were proved in her absence after she failed to attend two previous listings in October 2021 and November 2021. The notice required her to keep her Staffordshire bull terrier on a lead and muzzled when in a public place.
St Albans Magistrates Court heard that in November 2020, Ms Rogers was walking the dog off its lead when it went into a garden and attacked an elderly cat. The cat was so seriously injured that one of its legs had to be amputated, leaving its owners extremely distressed and out of pocket to the tune of £7,000 for veterinary bills.
Three Rivers District Council’s animal welfare inspector issued Ms Rogers with a Community Protection Warning notice (CPW) requiring her to keep the dog muzzled and on a lead when in a public place. Within a fortnight, Ms Rogers was seen out walking the dog in public with no muzzle on.
Despite several warnings Ms Rogers was continually seen out walking the dog without a muzzle on it, and in March 2021 was issued with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) requiring her to keep the animal muzzled and on a lead in a public place.
On 30 July 2021, the dog was off lead and without a muzzle in a public place known as the Cinder Track which runs through woods in South Oxhey when it attacked a cat. The attack was witnessed by two 14-year-old boys. Initially, Ms Rogers was nowhere to be seen and the dog seemed to be entirely unsupervised. The attack was extremely vicious and the boys didn’t know what to do. They shouted for help and Ms Rogers appeared and managed to pull the dog away from the cat.
The cat was later euthanised owing to its serious injuries.
Following that incident, Ms Rogers was witnessed on four further occasions walking the dog in a public place without a muzzle on it.
She was fined £600, ordered to pay compensation to the cat’s owner of £1,089, costs of £600 and victim support of £60.
The council made an application for a Criminal Behaviour Order in similar terms to the CPN, namely that Ms Rogers be required to keep the dog on a lead and muzzled when in a public place. However, the magistrates considered imposing stronger conditions and make it a condition that Ms Rogers not own a dog - or not own this particular dog - on the grounds that she is not able to keep it under control. The magistrates did not feel able to adjudicate upon without hearing from Ms Rogers and felt that Ms Rogers would not attend court unless compelled to do so, therefore issued a warrant for her arrest.
Ms Rogers was arrested on Friday 10 December 2021 and brought before the court. As well as the fines already imposed, magistrates made an order that Ms Rogers must not keep the Staffordshire bull terrier for five years and she must surrender the dog to the council’s animal welfare inspector.
Cllr Phil Williams, the council’s Lead Member for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Sustainability, said: “The horrific nature of these attacks on family pets and the blatant disregard for the orders imposed upon her, makes the actions of this dog owner truly shocking. I welcome the court’s decision to impose the order preventing such an irresponsible person from keeping a dog that she clearly cannot control properly. As a council we will simply not tolerate dog owners behaving in this way.”
- PHOTO: Stock photo of Staffordshire bull terrier
Cllr Alex Hayward – Leader of the Conservative Group
Cllr Joanna Clemens – Independent Councillors Group Joint Leader