Animal associations are reporting a “frightening number” of inquiries from Rottweiler and Pit Bull owners “keen to get rid of their pets” in the wake of last week’s attacks on children – the worst being the one on a four-year-old girl in Matosinhos (click here).
While one reaction to the horrors has been a petition to spare the life of the Matosinhos’ attack dog (click here), another has been the sheer fright of owners of animals on the dangerous dogs list who suddenly realise the legal responsibilities of their choice of pet, explains Diário de Notícias.
Said Maria do Céu Sampaio, president of the country’s league for animal rights, “lots of people are calling us. It’s ridiculous”.
SOS Animal’s Sandra Duarte Cardoso called the number of calls her association has been receiving “frightening”, stressing that the knock-on concern is that if people don’t get the answers they want, they could end up dumping their dogs on the streets.
The issue now, she explained, is to “stop alarmism”.
“We have a dialogue to prevent abandonment”, she added, stressing that the label ‘dangerous’ or ‘potentially dangerous’ dog comes from legislators.
“These are large dogs, certainly, but all animals can be potentially dangerous. What is dangerous is human negligence”, she told the paper. “Thus we inform people on what they can do, we tell them about signs they need to be aware of, we send them to (dog) trainers”.