The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

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A pet German Shepherd dog has been made the subject of a dog control order after it jumped up and injured a child in July.

Yvonne Younger, the dog’s 51-year-old owner from Springhill Lane, admitted that two-year-old Duke was out of control when she took him for a walk in Falsgrave Park and let him off the lead.

Alex Johnson, prosecuting, said the victim was running along a field when he heard shouting behind him – and when he looked around he saw a large dog coming towards him.

He said that the youngster was knocked over when the dog made contact and added: “After the incident the dog ran away and ran back towards its owner. It was reported to the police and, when interviewed, Mrs Younger accepted that she was the owner, she let him off the lead and accepted that it knocked him to the ground.

“She told police that she would keep him on a lead and only let him off in a large field.”

Ian Brickman, in mitigation, said that the charge was a civil matter – after the complaint was brought by Chief Supt. Higgins from North Yorkshire Police.

He added that the incident was out of character for Duke and added: “At that particular moment the dog would have been perceived as dangerous. He was not under proper control – he was not on a lead. But she’s not accepted that her dog is dangerous.”

Mr Brickman handed a bundle of photographs and statements from friends and neighbours which showed that Duke could behave well with children.

He said that, on the day in question, the dog had seen the children running in the park and wanted to play with them.

“It seemed like the dog just wanted to play – it was quite young and bouncy,” he said. “There’s no suggestion that he was aggressive. He’s gone up to the boy and caused some scratches. He’s never bitten anyone in the past.”

Duke was made the subject of a dog control order and will need to be kept under proper control in public places – particularly when children are present. Magistrates also ordered that Younger should pay £45 in court costs.