This is a cross post from my main website PoC. I think that it is worth posting twice because it’s an interesting case of negligence really. An elderly woman is on a mobility scooter on the road and tethered to that mobility scooter is her slightly overweight (in my view) black-and-white dog.
Clearly, the dog cannot keep up perhaps because they are overweight or perhaps because the woman is driving her mobility scooter too quickly. As a result, the dog gives up and is dragged along by the scooter. The woman is entirely unaware of this because it appears to me that she has assumed that her dog will keep up.
It is probable that in the past on perhaps many occasions, her dog has kept up with her mobility scooter and therefore she has made the assumption that it’s happened again without checking.
The dog has presumably kept reasonably quiet and accepted it. This seems surprising because there must’ve been a degree of pain experienced although we are told that the road was damp. This dampness probably lubricated the contact between dog and road by minimising the friction.
That may have been fortuitous for all parties mainly for the dog. A man in a car driving by stopped his car and told the woman that she was dragging her dog behind her, and it would harm her dog.
Here is a image and a video of the event both of which are on separate pages where there are no adverts in order to avoid upsetting advertisers:
Woman drags dog along road behind her mobility scooter (video segment)
Apparently, she barely heard the guy’s remonstrations but said sorry. Then another man remonstrated with her asking her to stop because she was killing her dog. That’s all we know because beyond that point the RSPCA and the police were involved, and they have commented that they are investigating.
We do not know what happened to the dog or the woman. I think we can presume that the dog survived the experience and is now in the care of the RSPCA. That is a reasonable presumption that I think I can make.
There are calls on social media and the news media for the woman to be banned from having a dog or cat for life. I think that that is a little bit severe because this was not a case of deliberate animal cruelty or abuse but innocent carelessness. It is actually negligence perhaps it could be described as gross negligence. But it looks like a one-off event.
It is no doubt caused at least some injury to the dog. It depends for how long the dog was dragged along like this as to the severity of injury. The reports do not tell us about the injuries incurred.
I would expect the case to be prosecuted in the criminal courts although there is the issue of what is called mens rea which is intent. What was the intent of the woman? There was no intent to harm but there was carelessness. However, the crime of animal cruelty or animal abuse under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 does not require mens rea i.e. a specific intent to cause harm.
Harm can be caused by negligence and therefore I would expect her to be prosecuted if she is prosecuted under this Act. She will probably end up with a fine. However, as far as I’m aware, the woman is yet to be identified. I expect that she will be identified because of the video and the direct contact with the woman by these two men who spoke to her.