Residents on a quiet street are living in fear of two vicious dogs who roam the streets on their own. People living in the area say they are always on the lookout for the canines, who have attacked pets and people.
The two Shar Peis living in the south Manchester area are believed to have killed four cats and one bitten woman. Given their close proximity to a primary school, neighbors are terrified of what could come next.
“It’s pretty barbaric,” Stephanie*, who witnessed her neighbor Leah’s cat Burnie being killed by the dogs on 26 May, told the Manchester Evening News. “We heard a commotion and ran outside.
“My daughter was ahead of me and she screamed mum, they’ve got the cat! We ran up, and they had the cat between them, one had one end and the other had the other end, and they were just playing with it .
“It was horrible.” Leah learned of Burnie’s fate after Stephanie knocked on her door and told her what she witnessed. She had only let him out five minutes before he was attacked.
“It all happened so quickly,” she said. “I’ve had Burnie for 15 years, he’s been with me every day apart from when I’ve been on holiday. It’s really horrible, a horrible way of dying.”
She reported the incident to Greater Manchester Police (GMP), who declined to comment on the death of a cat but said the report had been passed on to their neighborhood team. However, the RSPCA maintain that enforcing the Dangerous Dogs Act is the responsibility of the police, calling the incident “distressing” and saying: “Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs are under proper control at all times”.
Heartbroken and angry, Leah began to speak to her neighbors about the incident – and found that she was not alone. She believes another cat was killed by the same dogs the very same night as Burnie, and a woman attacked the morning after.
The group are now working together to try and raise awareness of the dogs – including at the local primary school over the road from where they believe the owner lives. “It’s an accident waiting to happen,” Stella*, another neighbor who is involved with a charity called Rescue Kitties, commented. They [the police] know who he is but nothing is being done about it.”
And Stephanie, who owns two cats of her own, said that they attacks have changed the way her and her family live. “It sounds really stupid, but it’s changed our lifestyle.
“A couple of weekends ago over the Jubilee weekend, we were out and my daughter was so distressed about the fact the cats could get out and something might happen that we had to come home to bring the cats in and lock them inside. It’s frustrating because these dogs are angry.
“They’re vicious. It has changed how a lot of us live because we’re all getting our cats in late at night.” The group have reported the dogs to their local councilor Mahadi Sharif Mahamed, who said he has contacted GMP about the matter.
Stephanie thinks the dogs have been in the neighborhood for around two years – but nothing has been done about them. “The dogs are well known to various neighbours,” she said. “If nothing else, it’s antisocial if the whole neighborhood is scared of your dogs.
“I just think it’s only a matter of time before more people are bitten.” An RSPCA spokesperson said: “This sounds like a very distressing incident and the owner of the cat involved must be terribly upset.
“Dog owners have a responsibility to ensure their dogs are under proper control at all times.
“It’s therefore vital that owners understand the circumstances likely to lead to their dog being aggressive and also the signs of potential aggressive behavior in their dogs so that they can take steps to prevent incidents from occurring. Keeping dogs on a lead in appropriate places can also reduce the risk of incidents.
“We urge anyone with concerns about their dog’s behavior to seek advice from their vet who may refer them to an appropriately qualified clinical animal behaviourist. If your pet is attacked by another dog, we advise you to report this to the police.”