Family of tragic Jade Lomas Anderson launch campaign calling for more severe punishments for irresponsible dog owners (From This Is Lancashire)
Family of tragic Jade Lomas Anderson launch campaign calling for more severe punishments for irresponsible dog owners
Shirley and Michael Anderson, the parents of Jade Anderson with Joan Le Gros, right, and her Beagle Alfie. Shirley and Michael Anderson were at a dog behaviour awareness event in Atherton following the death of their daughter Jade.
THE GRIEVING parents of a14-year-old Atherton girl mauled to death by a pack of dogs are calling on the government to more severely punish owners who fail to control their pets.
Jade Lomas-Anderson died on March 26 this year after being attacked by two bull mastiffs and two Staffordshire bull terriers while visiting a friend.
Yesterday, her mother Shirley Anderson and stepfather Michael launched Jade’s Campaign, which encourages owners to be more responsible for controlling their pets.
The campaign, drawn up in conjunction with Wigan Council, also calls for the microchipping of pets to be made complusory.
Dog owners queued throughout the afternoon at the Dorset Community Centre, on the Hag Fold estate where Jade lived, to meet Mr and Mrs Anderson and take advantage of the chance to get their dog microchipped for free.
Mr Anderson said: “The main focus of this is to make sure that it does not happen to someone else and that we all live in a safer community.
“Laws to punish people properly who can’t control their dogs need to be put in place and we will always fight for that.
“We will not be going away any time soon.
“There is legislation that ensures people are punished for not paying for their TV licence.
“If you do not look after your animals properly, there needs to be genuine enforcement behind it.”
Mr Anderson was keen to stress neither he nor Jade’s mother are “anti-dog”.
“Dogs are part of our lives and we are not anti-dog, we just want owners to be more responsible,” he said.
“It’s not even about the type of dog, a child could be injured by a little chihuahua in just a few seconds.
“You just never know and I personally think owners should always have their dog on a lead because you can’t always predict what they’ll do.”
Jade’s mother, Mrs Anderson said: “We want dog owners to treat their dogs like you would treat a child.
“You’ve got to show them care, walk them, feed them, clean them and then they will be content.”
Sandra Green, enforcement manager at Wigan Council, said: “This is a fantastic turn-out and we’re grateful for the support.
“I work on dog control and we are grateful for the chance to promote responsible dog ownership and making micro-chipping compulsory.”
Danny Jackson, aged 30, from Atherton brought his 10-week-old Japanese Akita called Rocky to the event.
“I think it’s a brilliant idea and fantastic for the family that this many people have come out to support them,” he said.
“I don’t believe any dogs are naturally dangerous, it’s how their owners treat them that matters.”
The family went to Westminster in June to discuss the issue of putting legislation in place, while a fundraising bike ride is on the agenda.
The route will start at the Etihad Stadium, the home of Manchester City, Jade’s favourite football club.
Jade was attacked visiting a friend in Chaucer Grove, Atherton, during school holidays.
Police shot dead the four dogs responsible when they arrived at the house.
Last week, the owner of the dogs that attacked Jade was charged with animal cruelty offences.
Beverley Concannon, aged 45, of Almond Grove, Worsley Hall, Wigan, has been charged with three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
She will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court on October 1.
The campaign will not heal the pain felt by Mr and Mrs Anderson, who would like similar schemes to be rolled out across the UK by next year.
“We do not want people to go through what we went through,” said Mr Anderson.
“We lost our daughter. No one else should experience the same thing.”
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