UPDATED: Dangerous dogs amnesty would be a ‘godsend’

A caricature of Eric Macanndrais by Tim Wilson
A caricature of Eric Macanndrais by Tim Wilson

UKIP’s parliamentary candidate wants families to surrender their ‘ferocious’ dogs and thinks 500 could be handed in.

Eric Macanndrais, who will stand in South Northants at the 2015 general election, thinks dangerous pets should be used in farming or security work, but the RSPCA said it would not get involved.

Library picture: Istock.com NNL-140810-100958001

Library picture: Istock.com NNL-140810-100958001

He wants to see an amnesty run by police and the animal charity to assess, retrain and rehouse dogs, and said it could be as successful as the recent gun amnesty.

Mr Macanndrais said: “I believe many people may own dogs which they can no longer control or their circumstances have changed, and they are no longer able to provide a safe and happy life for their beloved pet.

“If we got five, it would be a success. If we got 500? I would not be surprised.

“I’m trying to offer owners a lifeline.”

Mr Macanndrais warned even the most cuddly of pets can change if they are not trained and he is worried about owners inheriting dogs they cannot control.

He said: “What if your partner leaves or dies and you therefore inherit a powerful, aggressive animal which you are afraid of? Where can you turn for help?

“Keeping the dog in a cage is not the answer and nor is tying it to a tree.

“If they are ferocious, they could kill cats or attack neighbours’ children.

“A properly organised and funded amnesty run by the police in conjunction with the RSPCA will be a godsend to many, I believe.”

Mr Macanndrais, who is captured in this caricature by local artist Tim Wilson, is seeking feedback from residents and funding from councils.

He was impressed by last month’s gun amnesty which saw more than 200 weapons surrendered to Northants Police. The UKIP councillor thinks a dangerous dogs equivalent could be piloted in the county and if successful, rolled out across the UK.

But a spokesman for the RSPCA said it would not participate in an amnesty and would instead like to see better education for owners.

He said: “It’s not the dogs. It’s the owners. Just by handing in a dog, it’s not to say that person won’t just get another one and make the same mistakes.

“Any dog can become dangerous in the wrong hands, if it is neglected, abused or trained to be deliberately aggressive.

“We need to try and stop the situation from happening in the first place, rather than reacting afterwards.

“Reactive legislation and measures on their own will not reduce dog bites and attacks.”

Mr Macanndrais’ appeal comes after a six-month-old girl was killed by a pit bull in Daventry on October 3.