I refer to a letter printed on August 4 with regard to Killer Dogs.
Firstly, I would like to extend my profound sympathies to Mr Hughes. The loss of a beloved pet is a tragedy and one I myself have had to come to terms with recently. I am the person in Crabtree Lane,whom your reader refers to, whose cat was badly injured by a dog and had to be destroyed humanely by a vet as his injuries were so extensive. Fitz was a much loved old friend who did not deserve such an ending to his life. He was also attacked by a tan coloured dog in my front garden in 2009 and luckily I was on hand to chase the creature off.
The dog (a Hungarian Vizsla) was roaming the area for some days with a Basset Hound which I reported to the police. These dogs were again roaming earlier this year (I reported this to our local dog warden who knew the dog’s owner and promised to ‘have a word’ and I didn’t see them again in this area.
When my cat was attacked recently I asked the dog warden and the police if they had received any reports that they were again roaming, but the answer was negative.
As to whether this dog was again responsible? I can only speculate.
I know for certain that a dog was to blame for my cat’s demise. Foxes carry a very pungent smell and this would have been transferred to my long haired cat. Fitz smelt strongly of dog saliva. Both myself and my son heard frenzied dog barking at around the time Fitz was probably being attacked and the vet verified that it was a dog attack when my cat was being examined. It is a popular misconception that foxes actively chase and eat cats. They are mammals of a similar size and are both extremely wary of one another.
Young foxes who tease a cat soon find out how effective a cat’s claws are at inflicting damage. Nevertheless very occasionally it may happen and there is one way of ensuring that it doesn’t. Keep your cat indoors at night.
That way cat owners will have peace of mind and so will the local wildlife.
Cats are also more likely to be involved in road accidents when darkness falls.
I would draw readers’ attention to a very informative website, www.thefoxwebsite.org, which has gathered information from statistics and debunks all those fox myths that have been appearing in national newspapers. There is also an informative section on how to discourage foxes from your garden if that is your wish. We need to treat foxes with respect. In Bromsgrove we are a hop, skip and jump from the countryside and the truth is that we have invaded their territory, not vice versa.
Gill Finalyson via email