Dangerous dogs: Your experiences
- 6 August 2013
- From the section UK
The owners of dogs that attack and kill someone could face life in prison sentence under new proposals for England and Wales.
The current maximum sentence for owners who allow their animal to attack members of the public is two years.
BBC News website readers have been sending in their comments and experiences.
Eleanor Burke, London
I was going to Cricklewood station when my guide dog Neela was attacked by a pitbull terrier. It latched onto the right-hand side of her neck. It was terrifying.
I'm very reliant on Neela. Without her I can just see light and dark and shadows - she is my means of getting around.
I could hear the most important thing in my life getting attacked and I could do nothing. What's worse is that she has been trained not to retaliate.
When the owner came along he tried to kick the dog and then he ran off and tried to get her to follow - neither seemed to work. Neela had 10 puncture wounds on the side of her neck. She was in a very bad way.
While she was recovering I couldn't leave the house for a week. It damaged my confidence and her confidence too.
The owner was sentenced to a 10-year ban from owning dogs and 150 hours' community service. He was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation to me and £1,200 to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
I didn't receive any money and I don't think that the Guide Dogs did as he appealed the sentence.
An attack on a guide dog should be treated as seriously as an attack on a human being - like it is in Northern Ireland.
There should also be prison sentences after serious attacks too. We've got children being mauled to death and not enough is being done.
Lisa Herrett, Essex
I was bitten about a year ago by a Rottweiler. The dog belongs to my brother's in-laws who he lives with. You have to walk through the garden to get to the house and even though I'd been told that the dogs wouldn't attack if you were with a family member, the dogs charged us.
They have a Rottweiler, a husky and a bulldog. They're not trained. I was bitten on the backside and it was so painful. I was really scared. It broke the skin.
I phoned my husband who was furious and he rang the police who said they could do nothing because it was on private property.
We had no apology from the owners; they just said the dogs were protecting the property.
They're on about an acre of garden and they don't take them out on the lead so they have free reign of the place.
I signed the e-petition after Jade Anderson was killed. I was only bitten and that was painful enough. I can't imagine what it must be like for some of these children who are mauled.
The law is a joke and this country is full of irresponsible dog owners. Dog owners should have to take responsibility for the actions of their pets if they are un-muzzled and attack even if in their own homes.
Andy Wilson, Essex
It's the dog not the owner. I train all sorts of aggressive dogs from Great Danes to chihuahuas.
I know there are very few people who use aggressive dogs as a status symbol or weapon, however, most people with aggressive dogs are very responsible but don't know how to fix the problem.
Most of the time they don't know their dogs can learn to behave socially.
It seems you either have a social dog and are responsible or an aggressive dog and you are a thug. Most people just need help
We hold two very successful training classes set up specifically to fix aggression. Educating the handler and owners will make a massive difference to the way dogs behave.
Muzzles take teeth out of the equation. Take the stigma away and more muzzles would be used.
Teresa Armstrong, Surrey
My dog was attacked, although not badly, by a Staffordshire bull terrier, and the owner did nothing.
I know the guy who owns it. He was 200 yards away when it happened. He had two dogs and it was his black-and-white Staff who attacked my border collie.
I've told people to keep away from him.
I think all dogs should be licensed and neutered to prevent more dogs getting onto our streets.
Kids are seen walking dogs far too strong and lethally dangerous for them to control.
I think dogs should be under a responsible supervised adult's control.
Far too many dogs are bred by irresponsible people purely for the money.
A dog should not be a weapon or a status symbol. Dogs are lovely animals and with the right owners, good to have around.
Interviews by Victoria Park and Sally Taft