A dog that is found to be dangerous towards people will be put down while the owner will receive an €11.65 fine, according to Maltese law.
The issue of dangerous dogs came to the forefront of public debate last weekend after Lovin Malta broke a story about a rottweiler attacking a mother and her child at Ta’ Qali park.
Both victims were hospitalised for their injuries while the owner and the dog escaped before authorities could arrive on the scene. With no CCTV footage in the area of the attack, a manhunt is currently underway to find the culprit.
If caught, the dog owner would be subject to an €11.65 fine with the court ordering police to “destroy the dog at the expense of its owner or keeper notwithstanding that the dog may have a new owner or keeper,” the Dog Act reads.
A dangerous dog is defined as “a dog which has bitten or assaulted a person” and under no circumstance will be allowed to live if deemed as such.
However, the court may acquit the dog owner of the €11.65 charge.
Animal Welfare Commissioner Alison Bezzina has since spoken up about the issue, saying that dogs pay the ultimate price for their owner’s irresponsibility.
“What happened in Ta’ Qali last week was a result of the owner of the dog irresponsibly breaking law. Whilst the park allows unleashed dogs at certain restricted hours, potentially aggressive dogs need to be muzzled even during these times, and kept under very strict supervision,” she said.
In Ta’ Qali, dogs are allowed to run freely off-leash between 7am and 9am. Last week’s incident happened at around 9:05am according to the family.
“Whilst we all wish that our dogs had more opportunities and places to run freely, as an owner, controlling your dog is entirely your responsibility and if you don’t, it’s your dog that will pay the highest price. Your dog will pay with its life!” Bezzina ended.
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