An owner whose pony had to be put down following a dog attack is calling for the law to be changed.
Sharon Ryder’s 16-year-old Welsh section A, Jazz (pictured, top, with Mrs Ryder’s daughter Ellie), was attacked by a dog she was fostering on 2 August.
Mrs Ryder, from Wokingham, told H&H that she had taken the Bulldog x Staffordshire Bull Terrier — Baxter— in on a temporary basis and he had been “as good as gold” for the few weeks he had been with them.
“As with any new dog, they never, ever come off the lead when we have first got them,” she said.
Mrs Ryder added he always wore a harness and on the day of the attack, she had tied him up to the fence at the yard.
She went around the corner to pick up a wheelbarrow, and on her return she saw he had slipped his lead and was “hanging off” her pony’s face.
“I just saw his paw and his head level with her head,” she told H&H.
“He grabbed hold of her back leg and pulled her to the floor.”
Mrs Ryder managed to free Jazz from the dog’s jaws and called to her neighbour for help.
She said he had “ripped the pony’s legs to shreds”.
The vet arrived and gave Jazz first aid on site for the bites and injuries to her face and legs that she sustained in the attack.
The 11hh pony was then taken to veterinary hospital further treatment.
However, she had to be put down on 8 September due to an infection.
She told H&H that the rescue centre collected the dog that day and she wants it to be put down.
“For me, the biggest thing we need to do is to get the legislation [the Dangerous Dogs Act] changed to include horses,” she said.
“That pony was a member of my family.”
H&H reported earlier this year that there had been a record number of dog on horse attacks in March (news, 2 April 2015).
Changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act in May 2014 mean dog owners can be prosecuted if their dog causes injury to a rider or puts them in fear of being injured.
However, horses are considered livestock, which comes under different legislation.
The British Horse Society (BHS) is calling for dog attacks on animals to be criminalised and encourages people to report incidents and near misses to them.