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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Witnesses help clear Barrow dog’s name after girl was bitten

IT was the nip that earned Chip’s owner a trip to court.

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SOFT AS A BRUSH: Samantha Parker with her dog Chip CHRIS WARNER REF: 50040755B004

Samantha Parker was charged with failing to control her beloved border collie earlier this year after he bit a little girl in a Barrow shop.

Facing a stiff fine and terrified that her companion would be declared dangerous and destroyed, she set out to clear both their names.

Miss Parker, of Parker Street, stood trial in Furness Magistrates’ Court last week and successfully argued that her five-year-old dog had acted under provocation.

She had witnesses that backed her story that the little girl was not being properly supervised at the time and had been intent on ‘winding up’ the dog.

“It was such a relief,” she said. “I was really worried that I might have to have Chip put to sleep even though this was so out of character for him.”Back in July, Miss Parker – with Chip in tow – called in at Max Spielmann Photographic in Portland Walk to catch up with a friend.

While in the store, a girl about five years old came in with her mum and granddad and starting teasing Chip.

“She kept coming up to him and tormenting him and scaring him,” she said.

“He barked at her once just to warn her off, but she carried on.

“The girl’s mother and granddad didn’t come up and get hold of the girl and me and my witness actually told the girl quite a few times not to come near him.

“Then, just as we were going out, she came up and we don’t know if she stood on his tail or his paw, but he gave a little bark and turned his head and caught her.”

The bite drew blood on the little girl’s cheek and an ambulance was called to take her away to Furness General Hospital for treatment.

The police were called to take statements and soon after Miss Parker was charged with having an out-of-control dog in a public place.

“I was devastated,” she said. “He’s never been aggressive to anybody – he’s as soft as a brush, as I like to say.

“I worried for Chip and was upset for the little girl, too.”

Miss Parker, who has many pets including three cats, three guinea pigs, a rabbit, two hamsters, three mice, four budgies and four fish, said parents must teach their children how to behave around dogs.

“You have to keep your kids under control,” she said.

“Chip only reacted because she was scaring him.”

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