Islington’s dangerous dog problem continuing to bite

Islington’s ongoing dangerous dog problem continues with 41 incidents reported in the 12 months to August this year.

During that period 18 people or animals were bitten, four suspects were charged and one dangerous canine was destroyed by police.

The figures indicate a rise from the same period up until August 2010, when police recorded 36 incidents.

In addition, the council put 16 stray dogs to sleep, nine of which were illegal breeds.

The RSPCA suspect the breeding of status dogs, such as Rottweilers or Akitas, is common on Islington estates, and 115 of these breeds were collected as strays last year.

A spate of attacks at the end of 2010, including one in which a student had his nipple bitten off, prompted calls for legislation to force all dog owners to pay to have their pets micro-chipped.

The council now offer a free chipping service for all hounds, but have stopped short of making it compulsory.

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Munever Ibrahim, from Fonthill Road, Finsbury Park, who nearly lost a finger trying to intervene as a bull mastiff killed her Yorkshire terrier Chippie last year, said: “The free chipping is good, but if they had to be chipped that would be amazing, because then everyone would know who owns the dog.

“They have to make laws so people are aware that they can’t just have these sorts of animals that run riot. What happened to me was just heartbreaking, it was horrendous. I still get so nervous when I see dogs off their leash and I wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

A spokeman for the council said: “We support voluntary micro-chipping. We have chipped 25 dogs and have four dog owners on Responsible Dog Owner Agreements and we anticipate these numbers will be increasing significantly over the coming months when our new Animal Welfare Assistant starts in early September.”

No one from the police was available for comment.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 bans the ownership, breeding, or sale of pit bull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasilieros.