A dog who snapped at an elderly lady has been put to sleep because her owner feared for his children’s safety.
The father-of-two – who wishes to remain anonymous – made the decision to put the three-and-a-half year old dog down after she bit an 84-year-old woman on the arm outside shops on Bennetts End Road in Hemel Hempstead on Friday. The victim required treatment for the wound but has since recovered.
The owner – who had left the dog with friends at the time – said: “It’s very saddening, but I felt like I couldn’t trust her with my kids any more. They’re both under two and I just couldn’t take the risk.”
He took in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier – known as Sasha – in September last year after seeing an advert online, but admitted that she had gone for people in the past.
He said: “I knew she wasn’t good with strangers, so I always kept her on the lead. She was just protecting me. I have a lot of sympathy for the lady, and a lot of guilt for Sasha. I feel like I murdered my dog, but I just didn’t know what to do.”
Herts police confirmed no charges would be brought against the owner in line with the elderly lady’s wishes.
A spokesperson from the RSPCA said: “While staffies have had some negative press, it is not of their own making.
“They can make wonderful pets and in the right hands, they can make great companions. It is important to remember that any dog – regardless of breed – has the potential to be aggressive.
“It’s the responsibility of owners to keep their dogs under control at all times and to train them in a positive way that teaches them to interact positively with people and other animals. Dogs should always be supervised around children.”