The Times conducted an investigation which revealed that lenient sentences are being handed down to owners whose dogs injure or kill people in the UK. One example is published today by the newspaper, Tuesday, August 15, 2023.
Blizzard attacks Kyra
It concerns the parents of a three-month-old girl, Kyra, who was mauled to death by a Siberian Husky dog owned by her parents. On conviction in a criminal court, they were not be sent to jail. They had pleaded guilty to being in charge of an out-of-control dog.
Lincoln Crown Court was told that Kyra’s parents, Vince King, 55, and Karen Alcock, 41, were out exercising their 19 Siberian huskies in a field in Woodhall spa, Lincolnshire, UK.
Some of the dogs were used for sledging competitions. One of them escaped from the back of his van and attacked Kyra.
The parents tried to save their daughter while an ambulance was on its way. Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight sentenced King to 10 months in prison but the sentence was suspended for two years. He was also told to do 100 hours of unpaid work. Allcock was given an eight-month prison sentence which was also suspended for two years and ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work.
The dog is going to be put down after the court made a destruction order. In court, it was said that the couple took their daughter with them while they exercised their dogs. Mr King walked five of the dogs together while Kyra was being pushed by her mother in a pram. Then seven of the dogs were taken on a sledge run.
After he returned three of the dogs were put in the van but not shut into the kennels inside the van.
A divide was not in place to separate the front of the cab from the rear. One of the dogs, Blizzard, leapt into the front section of the van and escaped the vehicle to then savage Kyra in her pram.
The police considered the case to be “utterly tragic”. The police investigated how the dog was able to get so close to the child to inflict such terrible injuries.
They decided that the attack could have been prevented if safety measures had been taken. These would have been, for example, closing the dogs in kennels or ensuring that they couldn’t get out of the van.
In Britain, there is an increased dog attacks. In 2022, four children were killed by dogs out of a total of 10 people. This is an increase from an average of three deaths in previous years.
Over the past six months there have been 12,000 court listings concerning dogs causing death or injury.
In many instances, the owners were fined only a few hundred pounds.
In a previous post I published a video by Ben the Vet on TikTok and he says that the Husky is one of five breeds that people should know more about before they adopt them because they are bred to pull sledges in the snow. And if you don’t have two hours in every day to exercise them it can negatively impact their behaviour to the point where they become difficult.
We don’t know what motivated Blizzard to attack Kyra. The dog was being exercised so a lack of exercise wasn’t behind the problem it seems to me.
It is said that huskies are not inherently dangerous. They are playful and need lots of mental stimulation as mentioned. They are outgoing and energetic and can be slightly mischievous. According to an American CDC report they aren’t even in the top five most dangerous dogs in terms of bite fatalities. It is said that they are not the “most kid-friendly dogs either”. It is also said that they can inadvertently hurt a small child.
Was Blizzard simply playing with Kyra but too boisterously? I don’t know.