A woman whose dog savaged a beloved Yorkshire terrier to death has signed a contract stating she will she keep her dog under control.
Heather Atkins, 33, a lawyer from Balham, was devastated after her best friend, 10-year-old Caro, was killed by a Staffordshire bull terrier type dog on Tooting Bec Common on Tuesday, May 6.
Heather and Caro
Wandsworth’s dog control team and safer parks police found the owner, from Tooting, of the killer pet and she has signed an ‘acceptable behavior contract’ (ABC) to ensure her dog stays under control.
Under the terms of the ABC she must keep her dog on a leash and muzzled in public and never leave it unattended in public.
She must ensure her dog, or any other dog in her care, does not attack, act aggressively towards or interfere with any other dog or animal.
The contract also bans her from doing anything which causes nuisance, annoyance, harassment, alarm or distress to anyone.
If she breaches the conditions of the contract either the council or the police can take legal action against her.
Mrs Atkins said: "I sincerely hope that the owner in question now understands and accepts the importance of responsible dog ownership, and will adhere to the ABC terms.
"It would be a shame if owner or handler behavior is not adjusted to prevent future attacks, especially as the physical and emotional price paid by pets and pet owners is so dear."
Mrs Atkins, who insisted she did not want the dog to be punished for the attack, but just kept under control, praised the safer parks team and the community’s response to the incident.
Lawyers are also reviewing witness statements to determine whether the woman should be prosecuted in magistrates court for breaching bylaws.
Anyone convicted of breaching Wandsworth’s parks and commons bylaws faces a maximum fine of £500.
Councillor Jonathan Cook, community safety spokesman, said: "The stringent rules [the owner] has agreed to abide by should ensure the safety of other dogs in the area.
"If however, she breaches any of the terms of the agreement then tougher sanctions are likely to follow very quickly.
"The council will not hesitate in taking legal action against owners who do not control their dogs properly or allow their pets to cause nuisance or harm to others."