Thursday, 14 October 2010

Dog owners urged to think twice about using extendable leads

Image courtesy Lancaster City Council
Local dog wardens are urging dog owners to think twice about using extendable leads after a young boy was almost garroted whilst riding his bike.

Isaac Hargreaves, age 6 from Morecambe, was riding his bicycle along the quiet cul de sac where he lives when he cycled into an extendable dog lead and fell backwards off his bike.

Isaac sustained deep rope type burns to his neck and shoulder and bruises to his back.

"I've always regarded our small quiet cul de sac to be a safe place for children to play," says Isaac's father Darren. "Isaac loves to ride circuits of the road with his brother, which is why I thought it was unusual to hear him crying that day.

"I ran out to find him walking towards me from where the incident had occurred, just metres from my house, with terrible burn marks on his chest and neck.

"Isaac had cycled round a bend in the road and straight into an extendable dog lead.  The owner of the dog was on one side of the road and the dog was on the other when the accident happened. The lead appeared to have caught Isaac's shoulder and moved up to his neck as he fell backwards.

"If he hadn’t been wearing his helmet which had cracked on impact, his injuries could have been far worse," Darren added. "Thankfully, Isaac has fully recovered but as a parent, it saddens me to think my beautiful little boy will have to bear the physical scars for the rest of his life."

“This isn't the first time we have witnessed rope type burns as a result of someone using this type of lead," commented Lancaster City Council Dog Warden Alison McGowan. "and as a service, we would never recommend people use them on the highway when dogs need to be kept under close control."


Anonymous said...

Accidents do happen, but extendable leads aren't a problem in themselves - it's how owners use them.

Although I rarely use one anyway, I'd never let my dog be on the opposite side of the road on an extender - they would be safer off the lead altogether. If a car had come round the corner instead of someone on a bike there's a good chance the dog would've been killed - the owner definitely wouldn't have been able to do anything about it.

The owner can't have been paying much attention either - you would either warn the cyclist or drop the lead so they could ride over it rather than being garrotted.

As the warden implies, use a normal leash length when walking around roads; save the extender for the beach or fields.

Anonymous said...

BBC slow off the mark on this one, but they got there in the end!