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Dog Warden Frankie Coote. Photograph by John Kelly

Kilrush currently a ‘black spot’ for dog related attacks


Clare’s county dog warden has said that Kilrush is currently a black-spot for dog-related attacks in the county.
This comes in light of two serious incidents in relation to bulldog breeds in the town over the Easter holiday weekend where a man and a teenage boy were injured.
And a third incident earlier in the week involving an Akita (Japanese large breed of huskie dog) attacking a springer spaniel also occurred in Kilrush. The Akita was handed in by its owners as it posed a danger to other dogs.
“I hate to say it but Kilrush is our black spot at the moment…I have had up to ten dogs moved from Kilrush in the last few months and about six since Christmas. I have been very active there because it has become fashionable now with young men to own certain breeds, more aggressive breeds that are a fashion accessory to them. And they aren’t being looked after any more which doesn’t help,” Clare County Council’s Dog Warden, Frankie Coote said.
The first bulldog incident happened to a middle-aged male visitor to the Vandeleur Walled Gardens which is a popular place locally for people to walk their dogs. According to Mr Coote the root of the problem there is that there are several young people regularly going to the amenity with bulldogs who are not putting them on leads nor muzzling their animals.
“There was a man at Vandeleur Gardens last week, and two bulldogs – one was on a lead and one was not, attacked his dog who was on a lead. He pulled up his dog and ended up getting several bites on both hands.”
The attack resulted in the man’s dog being treated at the vets that evening with the bill costing up to €300, and the owner having to attend hospital to get treated for bites injuries to both his hands. Mr Coote is still investigating that incident, and endeavouring to find the dogs in question. As he has descriptions of both animals, he is hopeful he may be able to find them.
The dog warden said he will have to patrol the area more often as despite signs having been put up in the gardens, there have been several dog-related incidents there. However, he has been actively working with local Gardai who help with the on-going situation in Kilrush. They have removed a number of illegal dog breeds having found them on social media pages – some of which have had their ears cropped which is a popular look and another fashionable thing amongst young men, according to Mr Coote.
Then there was another incident related to bulldogs in Kilrush over the weekend where a young 16-year-old boy at a housing estate was walking his own bulldog that was muzzled and on a lead when attacked by a second such breed.
“Another bulldog came out unfortunately out over a gate, attacked his dog, and the young lad then got knocked over and his own dog got frightened and tried to run away and dragged the young lad which resulted in the young lad’s knees getting torn.”
However, Mr Coote is confident the matter has been resolved as the people who owned the animal who got out were compliant and respectful towards him, and surrendered their dog immediately.
Under laws brought in at the start of this year, owners of dangerous dogs can receive on-the-spot fines of €300 per animal if their dogs are not muzzled. Fines can also be imposed if a dog owner fails to keep their animal under control, or in instances of a dog not wearing a muzzle where appropriate. There are 11 breeds categorised as dangerous dogs under the new legislation.

Sharon Dolan D'Arcy

Sharon Dolan D'Arcy is originally from Ennis. Her work as a print journalist has appeared in a number of regional publications. She worked as court reporter at The Sligo Weekender newspaper and is a former editor of The Athenry News and Views. She covers West Clare news.

About Sharon Dolan D'Arcy

Sharon Dolan D'Arcy is originally from Ennis. Her work as a print journalist has appeared in a number of regional publications. She worked as court reporter at The Sligo Weekender newspaper and is a former editor of The Athenry News and Views. She covers West Clare news.

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