Today we take a moment to remember Freddie.
Freddie was first spotted near the Hook of Holland last August, he made his way to France eventually settling in Teddington where he became a joyful sight for Londoners in lockdown.
Freddie was well looked after by humans during his short life, having been treated for heartworm in Calais & later British Divers Marine Life Rescue removed a fishing hook from his mouth.
Last weekend Freddie was fatally wounded by an off lead dog & despite the best efforts of rescuers at South Essex Wildlife Hospital Freddie was put to sleep.
The attack on Freddie is not unique, Dog Desk Radio reported on a Red Setter that attacked a deer in Richmond Park resulting in the deer being put to sleep & the dogs guardian receiving a fine of £602. The dogs guardian was charged under regulation 4 (21) of the Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997 and section 2 of the Parks Regulation (Amendment) Act 1926.
We are engaging with the farming community in regard to sheep worrying, which farmers are saying is getting out of hand this year causing untold suffering to sheep, stress & financial losses to farmers & severe consequences to dogs & their guardians in some incidences. Sheep worrying is an offence under the Dogs (Protection Of Livestock) Act 1953 & an offence for which you as the dogs owner are accountable.
Many dog guardians are thoroughly responsible & ensure that their dogs are well trained & respond well to recall. But we would advise dog guardians to remember that in certain circumstances even the best behaved & well trained dog is capable of losing its focus. For your safety, your dogs safety & the safety of others it is always best to keep your dog on a lead when around grazing animals & wildlife.
During lockdown it is reported that the UK has seen a growth in the dog population which now stands at around 10 million according to a recent PDSA report. Many people forced to work from home have seen it as an opportunity to welcome a puppy while others have sought the solace that a dog brings during an emotionally difficult time for all of us. But has it been the right thing to do?
Socialisation is crucial for pups to ensure that they grow into well balanced measured adults. Lockdown life is not a true reflection of how we live. So what happens to these pups who may never has seen a bicycle, never felt sand under their feet, never played with another dog, never been in a pet store? While some dogs may ace it when confronted with new experiences others will struggle, become fearful & may display behaviours that humans find unacceptable. Many of the dogs guardians have never had a dog in their lives exasperating an already difficult situation which may culminate in attacks on wildlife, other dogs, grazing animals & people.
Dog Desk Animal Action CIC is launching a campaign to encourage dog guardians to keep their dogs on leads & would love your help. Please go to their website here You will find downloadable content for sharing & look out for material on social media. Please share so that we can reach as wide an audience as possible. There will also be regular PSA's on Dog Desk Radio. Please encourage your friends, family & co-workers to tune in. The station carries lots of music shows as well as news, sport & weather.
Social media has been awash with comments regarding Freddie's tragic death. I want to leave you with one, which I think is poignant.