This is a good news story. A woman, Natalie Pasquantonio, failed to ensure that her dog, a husky, underwent obedience training. As a consequence, the three-year-old dog called Rocco attacked another dog and its owner when off the lead when walking on a tow path along the river Tawe in Morriston, Swansea, Wales. The woman suffered a deep laceration to her hand and scratches to her arm while her dog had to be euthanised because of the emotional trauma suffered. Natalie Pasquantonio ended up in a criminal court for being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control and which caused injury. She admitted the offence.
The court ordered her to be sentenced to 6 months in prison suspended for 12 months and to complete 150 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation course. Rocco was ordered to be destroyed but the news got back to the public and when they were next in court, the judge, Paul Thomas QC, was told by the barrister defending Natalie Pasquantonio that almost 300 people and groups had contacted his instructing solicitors expressing an interest in taking-in the husky and training him.
The judge had been highly reluctant to make a destruction order and it seems was pleased to agree that Rocco could be taken in by a husky rescue centre in Wakefield and then rehomed with a suitable new owner. Walter Pennell, a South Wales Police dog expert was satisfied that the centre was a responsible organisation and that they will be able to rehome Rocco satisfactorily and safely.
The judge described the response as “phenomenal”.
Comment: What a result, which transcends the usual outcome which is to destroy a dog categorised as dangerous when in fact the dog wasn’t trained at all and through training would not be dangerous. It highlights the need to train dogs. Perhaps it should be obligatory before a person adopts. I can think of another person within my social sphere who owns a dog that is not trained and who constantly barks and leaps at people that pass on pavements.
The story also highlights the attitude of many people in the UK towards companion animals. They want to do the right thing by them but a small minority cause problems like the one described in the story.