Court orders Akita to be destroyed following serious attack in East Kilbride

A vicious Akita dog which broke a teenager’s arm in two places is to be destroyed and owner Natalie Burns, 23, was fined £1,000 yesterday after being found guilty of failing to control him.

An earlier trial heard the 15-year-old boy reached out to pat the dog near Main Street, East Kilbride, last May. It lunged forward and clamped its jaws around the boy’s arm, pulling it from side to side seconds after Burns warned him not to pat the dog, shouting: “Don’t touch him, he bites.”

The boy was taken to the town’s Hairmyres Hospital where he had a steel pin inserted in his arm, Hamilton Sheriff Court was told.

Charles Ferguson, defending, said Burns was a conscentious and hardworking woman. He pleaded that the dog should not be destroyed and Burns be given an absolute discharge. Burns said later: “It wasn’t the dog’s fault. He shouldn’t be put down.”

Let’s be quite clear about this dangerous dog issue. The phrase ‘dog bite’ rarely does justice to the pain and misery caused by a dog attack. The cases we deal with can involve life threatening injuries, permanent disfigurement and unimaginable pain and terror on the part of the victim. We have clients throughout Scotland who are scared to venture outdoors or afraid to let their children play in public parks because of what a dog has done to them.  

The good news is that the new Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act which comes into force next February, will cover all dogs and not just the so-called dangerous breeds. The Act is targeted at any dog which displays aggressive behaviour and places greater responsibility on owners to control their ‘pets’. This legislation is a positive step towards preventing irresponsible owners from allowing their dogs to ruin people’s lives as the full force of the law is about to come down on those people who ignore warnings and behave as if they are above the law.

If you or a member of your family has been attacked by any breed of dog you can call us FREE on 0800 163 978 for a no obligation review of case and your legal options.