Gardai in Athlone are continuing with their enquiries following a fatal dog attack in Burgess Park this past weekend.
Two dogs who were in the vicinity at the time attacked the collie which sustained fatal injuries as a result of the incident. Gardai have confirmed that the two dogs were surrendered after the incident and are now with the relevant authorities.
Speaking to the Athlone Advertiser on Tuesday, Cllr Aengus O’Rourke, noted his horror at the fatal incident.
“I was horrified to hear about the pet dog being savagely attacked and killed in a public park in Athlone over the weekend. The owners of the collie dog were out for a leisurely walk on Saturday in the town’s main public park, only to see their beautiful dog set upon by two bull mastiff dogs that were not accompanied by their owner.
“The collie owners were helpless and could only look on as their beautiful family pet was killed before their eyes. As a dog owner myself I was sickened by the news of this attack. I can’t sympathise enough with the owners of the collie, what an awful set of circumstances they found themselves in, completely helpless to do anything.
“The attack was so brutal and violent and now brings in to sharp focus the need for greater enforcement around restricted dog breeds and the need for the authorities to enforce more laws relating to responsible dog ownership.
“Bull mastiff dogs are a restricted breed, therefore by law they must be muzzled and under the control of an adult, and held at all times on a short leash when out in public, so I hope the Gardai prosecute the owner for flouting the law in this regard.
“What was to stop these dogs from savagely attacking a child in Burgess Park on Saturday, it does not even bear thinking about. We need to send a strong message to all dog owners, but particularly to those who have restricted breeds, that the laws are there for a reason and they must be respected,” Cllr O’Rourke commented.