The owners of fighting dogs are being trained using pieces of children’s play equipment on the Danesholme estate.
Children’s play equipment installed just a few months ago at the Stavanger Close park on the town’s Danesholme estate had been damaged by people using it to strengthen their dog’s jaws, according to a report submitted to Corby councillors last week.
Our reporter spoke to parents at the park who had been disgusted to find dog mess all over the play equipment next to a rubber ball which is believed to have been used by the dogs.
Illegal dog training websites advocate the practice, known as spring or flirt poling, which encourages fighting dogs to hang from rubber objects by their teeth for as long as possible to strengthen their jaws.
Police officers are aware of the incidents on the Danesholme estate and are actively policing the area to try to catch the culprits.
The rubber ball in question is placed at the height of a child’s head and is designed to help children practice climbing skills.
One local mum who did not wish to be named, whose daughter plays on the park, said: “There’s dog mess all over the place where they train their dogs. I haven’t seen them doing it myself but have heard about it.”
Another local father said: “We don’t want any dogs on the children’s play equipment, never mind fighting dogs. I hope they catch them.”
Ward Councillor Colleen Cassidy said: “Our neighbourhood wardens have kept me informed about this issue and we are aware of what’s happening.
“There are officers patrolling the area but it’s difficult to catch the people responsible because we have to see them in action.”
The park has also been hit by motorbike nuisance over the past few weeks.
Nationally, the RSPCA investigated 511 calls about organised dog fighting last year.
Dog fighting, along with cock fighting, was banned in 1835.
Animal fighting is banned under Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. There are a number of offences. These include causing an animal fight to take place or attempting to do so, receiving money for admission, publicising a fight, training an animal to fight, taking part in a fight and being present at an animal fighting without lawful authority or reasonable excuse. Some of the offences can be committed without a fight having taken place.
Anyone convicted under Section 8 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 can face a maximum sentence of six months in custody and/or a fine of up to £20,000. A court can also pass orders banning someone from keeping/owning dogs (potentially lifelong bans) as well as ordering the forfeiture of equipment and destruction orders on any dogs involved.
Anyone with any information about the damage at the Danesholme estate, or anyone who knows of people training fighting dogs in the area, should call police on 101.