Gardaí closing in on illegal pitbull owners

Simon Brouder

Published 28/08/2013 | 05:36

FOLLOWING the second pitbull attack in Tralee in less than a week gardaí and council officers are closing in on the owners of several illegal, unregistered and potentially lethal dogs that are being kept in the town.

FOLLOWING the second pitbull attack in Tralee in less than a week gardaí and council officers are closing in on the owners of several illegal, unregistered and potentially lethal dogs that are being kept in the town.

It's thought that unlicensed pitbulls are being bred locally, possibly for use in illegal dog fights, and that some of these animals may have escaped their owners and carried out two separate attacks, on a dog and a cow, in the last ten days.

Staff at Kerry County Council's dog pound say there have noticed a significant increase in the number of pitbulls in Tralee in the last six months and that dogs of the breed, which are subject to strict controls under dangerous dogs legislation, are likely being bred and sold illegally in the area.

Dog Wardens and gardaí, who are attempting to trace and catch the unlicensed dogs, are understood to have identified the probable whereabouts of several of the animals and are close to identifying a location where they are being bred.

In a bid to locate the dogs and their owners dog wardens have even taken to watching beachs, parks and other walking areas that are popular with dog owners.

While Kerry does not have any dedicated register of dangerous dogs, details about the location and owners of all legally held dogs, whose breeds are classed as dangerous, are available from their standard dog licenses.

The crackdown follows an incident last week when an unmuzzled pitbull attacked a cow in the Clash area of Tralee. On Thursday afternoon gardaí and Kerry County Council dog wardens were contacted be several people who said they had seen three unmuzzled pitbulls in the Oakpark area.

As they investigated the reports one warden saw a man with a pitbull climbing a wall and fleeing the area in the direction of Tralee Community College. A short time later the dog, by now on its own, made its way into a nearby field where it attacked and mauled a cow badly wounding the docile animal's face and jaw.

The council and Gardaí say they are satisfied they have identified the owner of the pit bull involved in Thursday's attack and believe they know where the dog is being kept.

That attack came just four days after another stray unmuzzled pitbull attacked and seriously wounded a dog as it was being walked in the Shanakill area.

On that occasion a four year old girl only narrowly escaped serious injury when she was knocked out of the way as the crazed pitbull attacked.

Kerryman

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