Dog savaged by Great Dane in Bell Common, Epping

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Clifford Norton with Lucy Clifford Norton with Lucy

A FATHER has hit out at police indifference after his dog was savaged by an out-of-control Great Dane.

Clifford Norton, 40, was taking his pet Labrador, Lucy, for her usual morning walk on Bell Common in Epping when the giant dog crossed their path.

Mr Norton, who lives in Bury Road nearby with his wife and 11-year-old son, said: “It came out of nowhere and attacked my dog, and when I say attack, I mean attack.

“It was trying to kill my dog and had it by the throat.

“I had to kick it as hard as I could and it still did not come off. I punched it in the head and then it came after me.

“It properly went for me and I had to fend it off using the leash like a whip.

“The owner strolled up with a couple of smaller dogs. I was saying was ‘put your dog on a lead’, but he just swore at me.

“I rushed Lucy home and then took her to the vets. She had tooth marks in her throat. She has had to have an operation because of the wounds and the vet’s bills have come to £500 so far.”

Mr Norton reported the incident to the police, who at first told him that because he had not been bitten they were powerless to act.

He has also repeatedly tried to contact Epping Forest District Council’s dog warden, who has failed to return his calls.

“My biggest concern is that this is a massive dog and there are a lot of old people who walk their pets on that common," said Mr Norton.

“If it had been one of them this animal turned on it could have been much more serious.

“This dog should not be allowed to go unleashed on the common.”

Essex Police, when contacted by the Guardian blamed a break-down in communication and said that they would be investigating.

A spokeswoman added: “Responsible dog owners should be able to enjoy a walk with their pets without fear that their dogs will be attacked and we are reminding residents in the area that that they should remain in proper control of their animals at all times.

“On this occasion the victim’s owner was not able to identify the other dog’s owner and has never seen the dog before.

“The dog owner is described as white, in his mid to late 40s, with a bald head and was wearing a track suit.

“If anyone witnessed the incident they are urged to contact Loughton CID on 101.

“Officers believe that the dog owner is local to the Epping Forest District.

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Comments (16)

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11:33pm Wed 8 Feb 12

G_Whiz says...

So it isn't only staffs that chavs want to raise untrained!
So it isn't only staffs that chavs want to raise untrained! G_Whiz
  • Score: 0

12:43am Thu 9 Feb 12

Kingfisher Bill says...

'He has also repeatedly tried to contact Epping Forest District Council’s dog warden, who has failed to return his calls'

This is par for the course as i left numerous messages after being abused by a fruit cake running a mock in the forest and it took 3 weeks to get through.
'He has also repeatedly tried to contact Epping Forest District Council’s dog warden, who has failed to return his calls' This is par for the course as i left numerous messages after being abused by a fruit cake running a mock in the forest and it took 3 weeks to get through. Kingfisher Bill
  • Score: 0

5:54am Thu 9 Feb 12

ClifftonX says...

I know a lot of people who walk their dogs ob Bell Commmon and, by all accounts, the scrote who owns the great dane also has two beagles (not poodles) and is a thoroughly irresponsible s*d. He obviously lives nearby, so shouldn't be too hard to find him.
I know a lot of people who walk their dogs ob Bell Commmon and, by all accounts, the scrote who owns the great dane also has two beagles (not poodles) and is a thoroughly irresponsible s*d. He obviously lives nearby, so shouldn't be too hard to find him. ClifftonX
  • Score: 0

6:42am Thu 9 Feb 12

pan says...

I think that the dog licencing system should be brought back.
I think that the dog licencing system should be brought back. pan
  • Score: 0

8:03am Thu 9 Feb 12

UKIP-local says...

Bell Common is not a "park"!
Bell Common is not a "park"! UKIP-local
  • Score: 0

9:51am Thu 9 Feb 12

clifford104 says...

UKIP-local wrote:
Bell Common is not a "park"!
what has that got to do this with this subject? really stange comment?
[quote][p][bold]UKIP-local[/bold] wrote: Bell Common is not a "park"![/p][/quote]what has that got to do this with this subject? really stange comment? clifford104
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Thu 9 Feb 12

villager1 says...

No problem with dog licencing and having all dogs chipped but how exactly is that going to control vicious dogs and their owners and who is going to police this? is the police going to go around with scanners to ensure that the dogs are chipped? as usual law abiding people will have their dogs chipped (well 58% already have) and the scumbags will carry on as usual without fear of retribution. I am surprised at a great dane attacking - they are not usually vicious dogs - maybe he is not treated well? hope your dog has got over it.
No problem with dog licencing and having all dogs chipped but how exactly is that going to control vicious dogs and their owners and who is going to police this? is the police going to go around with scanners to ensure that the dogs are chipped? as usual law abiding people will have their dogs chipped (well 58% already have) and the scumbags will carry on as usual without fear of retribution. I am surprised at a great dane attacking - they are not usually vicious dogs - maybe he is not treated well? hope your dog has got over it. villager1
  • Score: 0

9:54pm Thu 9 Feb 12

Epping Res says...

I sympathise, Just before xmas in the field behind St Margarets route from Stonards Park to Coopersale three greyhound type dogs attacked my dog and I was terrified,stood screaming thinking my dog was being killed. One of the owners had to wrestle the main dog off , luckily the savage dog had a muzzle but I didn't know that at the time. They were fast out of nowhere and I was left in quite a state and I'm sure my dog was too. I am now very nervous and feel I have to stick to roads. My dog by the way was on a lead and is a small nice natured dog. The greyhound type dog were off lead and had flashing collars on.
I sympathise, Just before xmas in the field behind St Margarets route from Stonards Park to Coopersale three greyhound type dogs attacked my dog and I was terrified,stood screaming thinking my dog was being killed. One of the owners had to wrestle the main dog off , luckily the savage dog had a muzzle but I didn't know that at the time. They were fast out of nowhere and I was left in quite a state and I'm sure my dog was too. I am now very nervous and feel I have to stick to roads. My dog by the way was on a lead and is a small nice natured dog. The greyhound type dog were off lead and had flashing collars on. Epping Res
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 10 Feb 12

inézc says...

Agree with villager 1, it is the law-abiding who will comply with chipping and licensing but at least it would give some kind of registration system; if a dog wasn't chipped or licensed then the owner should be fined or the dog seized and taken to a place of safety. Great Danes are gentle giants but unfortunately, as with staffies- and any other dog -, they react very much in accordance with how they are treated by their humans and in such cases, unfortunately for the dogs and for those who come into contact with them, invariably the beast is the one with two legs, not four.
Agree with villager 1, it is the law-abiding who will comply with chipping and licensing but at least it would give some kind of registration system; if a dog wasn't chipped or licensed then the owner should be fined or the dog seized and taken to a place of safety. Great Danes are gentle giants but unfortunately, as with staffies- and any other dog -, they react very much in accordance with how they are treated by their humans and in such cases, unfortunately for the dogs and for those who come into contact with them, invariably the beast is the one with two legs, not four. inézc
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 10 Feb 12

inézc says...

Agree with villager 1, it is the law-abiding who will comply with chipping and licensing but at least it would give some kind of registration system; if a dog wasn't chipped or licensed then the owner should be fined or the dog seized and taken to a place of safety. Great Danes are gentle giants but unfortunately, as with staffies- and any other dog -, they react very much in accordance with how they are treated by their humans and in such cases, unfortunately for the dogs and for those who come into contact with them, invariably the beast is the one with two legs, not four.
Agree with villager 1, it is the law-abiding who will comply with chipping and licensing but at least it would give some kind of registration system; if a dog wasn't chipped or licensed then the owner should be fined or the dog seized and taken to a place of safety. Great Danes are gentle giants but unfortunately, as with staffies- and any other dog -, they react very much in accordance with how they are treated by their humans and in such cases, unfortunately for the dogs and for those who come into contact with them, invariably the beast is the one with two legs, not four. inézc
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Fri 10 Feb 12

Epping Res says...

Sometimes it's because a placid dog can turn and have a pack mentality as soon as he is with more than one dog or even feel he is protecting a smaller younger dog he is with. The owners should keep their dogs on leads, imagine if a young child was attacked on Bell Common. I have been knocked down by large dogs just playing.
Sometimes it's because a placid dog can turn and have a pack mentality as soon as he is with more than one dog or even feel he is protecting a smaller younger dog he is with. The owners should keep their dogs on leads, imagine if a young child was attacked on Bell Common. I have been knocked down by large dogs just playing. Epping Res
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Fri 10 Feb 12

Epping Res says...

As well as micro chipping , I think every dog off a lead in a public place should be muzzled. It dosn't hurt them. My dog would have been killed if it wasn't for the muzzle the other dog was wearing. Should be the law. Then we would all feel safer.
As well as micro chipping , I think every dog off a lead in a public place should be muzzled. It dosn't hurt them. My dog would have been killed if it wasn't for the muzzle the other dog was wearing. Should be the law. Then we would all feel safer. Epping Res
  • Score: 0

11:07am Sun 12 Feb 12

pan says...

Villager 1, The reason why I think that the dog licencing would help is that there would be a data base of dogs in your area.
In this situation checking a data base to see how many Great Danes were registered within a two mile radius would narrow a search down significantly. If this was an incident similar to the terrible one in Chingford a couple of weeks ago it would have made life a lot easier for the Police.
The process of the licensing system would also encourage owners to be more responsible knowing they are easily traced.
A few years ago I and my dog were attacked by a Rottweiler. I physically fought this dog off whilst its owner stood there bemused at the situation powerless to do anything. This cost me hundreds of pounds at the vets and left my dog seriously injured. The Police were not interested at all, neither were the RSPCA and this particular dog has gone on to attack other dogs and also done so previously as far as I am aware. The owner should not have such an animal.
The Police actually told me when I complained that this could be a child or someone else attacked in the future to "go away and stop making a nuisance of yourself its not our business" I actually had the RSPCA on the phone at the time listening to the conversation, all they needed was a crime reference number to act and investigate this dog and its owner, they were as dismayed as I was.
At minimum if all dogs were muzzled whilst off the lead this kind of thing would not happen.
Villager 1, The reason why I think that the dog licencing would help is that there would be a data base of dogs in your area. In this situation checking a data base to see how many Great Danes were registered within a two mile radius would narrow a search down significantly. If this was an incident similar to the terrible one in Chingford a couple of weeks ago it would have made life a lot easier for the Police. The process of the licensing system would also encourage owners to be more responsible knowing they are easily traced. A few years ago I and my dog were attacked by a Rottweiler. I physically fought this dog off whilst its owner stood there bemused at the situation powerless to do anything. This cost me hundreds of pounds at the vets and left my dog seriously injured. The Police were not interested at all, neither were the RSPCA and this particular dog has gone on to attack other dogs and also done so previously as far as I am aware. The owner should not have such an animal. The Police actually told me when I complained that this could be a child or someone else attacked in the future to "go away and stop making a nuisance of yourself its not our business" I actually had the RSPCA on the phone at the time listening to the conversation, all they needed was a crime reference number to act and investigate this dog and its owner, they were as dismayed as I was. At minimum if all dogs were muzzled whilst off the lead this kind of thing would not happen. pan
  • Score: 0

10:20pm Sun 12 Feb 12

Spoons1972 says...

Pan, I really can't agree with your muzzle comments. Do you really think it fair that because a very small number of idiots don't control their dogs properly, all other dog owners should be stopped from throwing a ball for their dogs ever again?
Pan, I really can't agree with your muzzle comments. Do you really think it fair that because a very small number of idiots don't control their dogs properly, all other dog owners should be stopped from throwing a ball for their dogs ever again? Spoons1972
  • Score: 0

6:33am Mon 13 Feb 12

pan says...

Spoons1972
No I dont think its fair and I did think twice before posting that, however what else can be done? If one person especially a little child can be saved from a tragedy then something needs to be done?
You only have to walk in the popular parts of the forest and you can see careless dog owners day in day out. People all think that there dogs are OK and I have seen many people not even bother taking leads out with them.
I have owned dogs pretty much all my life and am glad to say that none have ever bitten anyone but I wouldn't ever trust any dog implicitly which is something that people seem ready and willing to do.
There are certain breeds that really should be muzzled in my opinion.
Spoons1972 No I dont think its fair and I did think twice before posting that, however what else can be done? If one person especially a little child can be saved from a tragedy then something needs to be done? You only have to walk in the popular parts of the forest and you can see careless dog owners day in day out. People all think that there dogs are OK and I have seen many people not even bother taking leads out with them. I have owned dogs pretty much all my life and am glad to say that none have ever bitten anyone but I wouldn't ever trust any dog implicitly which is something that people seem ready and willing to do. There are certain breeds that really should be muzzled in my opinion. pan
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Sat 18 Feb 12

BeefFranks says...

This experience must have been terrifying. I totally sympathise with the owner. As a Great Dane owner myself I am shocked by this story. The breed is renowned for being a gentle giant and I personally have never encountered an aggressive Dane - they are extremely rare and result from serious abuse and mistreatment. The owner might need castration to ensure the situation doesnt happen again. Especially as it gives responsible Great Dane owners a bad name and a hard time.
This experience must have been terrifying. I totally sympathise with the owner. As a Great Dane owner myself I am shocked by this story. The breed is renowned for being a gentle giant and I personally have never encountered an aggressive Dane - they are extremely rare and result from serious abuse and mistreatment. The owner might need castration to ensure the situation doesnt happen again. Especially as it gives responsible Great Dane owners a bad name and a hard time. BeefFranks
  • Score: 0

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