Local News & Archive — January 5, 2017 at 9:00 am — Updated: January 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Bulldogs to be put down after Meliden attacks

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Magistrates have ordered five bulldogs to be put down after they attacked two women at a house in Meliden.

The owner, Donna Whitelam, was banned from keeping dogs for two years after she pleaded guilty four charges of keeping dangerously out of control animals at her home on Isfryn Road.

Whitelam’s neighbour, Lisa Quinton and Avon lady Louise Houghton were bitten on the legs in separate incidents when they called at the house. Llandudno magistrates’ ruled the owner, who worked in a nursery, was not ”a fit and proper person to be in charge” of them.

Prosecutors told the court that Mrs Houghton visited the house in August, having usually only spoke through an open window. The bulldogs pushed past Whitelam and the Avon lady fell over after she was bitten on the back of the ankle and behind her knee. The owner apologised after one of her sons helped remove the dogs – but Mrs Houghton was taken to hospital with a heavily bleeding knee and deep puncture wounds.

A month later, Mrs Quinton visited the house to offer advice on a student grant, but was bitten on the buttock, thumb and thigh, and ended up with three stitches in the thigh. In a victim impact statement, she said she feared for the safety of others but did not want the dogs to be put down.

The defence said Whitelam had owned the bulldogs for five years with her children growing up with them. She had put up a warning sign, an interior gate and a bell on the gatepost after advice from a vet, but could not muzzle the dogs due to their squashed features. She was described as a responsible owner who did not keep her pets as trophy dogs or an attack weapon.

Court chairman John Rooney told Whitelam that they were satisfied one of the dogs was a ”danger to public safety” because of its temperament, behaviour and her lack of control. He added that Mrs Houghton would not have suffered serious injuries if she had acted responsibly and the bulldogs had acted in a pack temperament towards Mrs Quinton.

 

The two victims were awarded £500 compensation each while Whitelam was sentenced to a year-long community order, including 150 hours of unpaid work and an overnight curfew for four weeks. She must also pay £170 in costs.

 

Sources: BBC Cymru Wales / Daily Post

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