It can be a dangerous job at times, dog walking. As learnt by our born to run walker who suffered a dog attack after a client did not give all the relevant information about their dog, and the same dog went on to savagely attack another dog, then our walker, leaving her needing plastic surgery.
BUT we do not expect the danger to be other humans.
A HAMPSHIRE mother is warning other female dog walkers to be vigilant after her daughter was attacked and beaten by a stranger who claimed her dog was vicious.
Julie-Anne Taylor’s 16-year-old daughter Kyra was subjected to a tirade of verbal abuse from the man who claimed her Akita dogs were a dangerous breed before punching her in the head.
The man, who was his late 20s, approached Kyra on a bicycle and threw something at her dog Riddick. As Kyra bent down to check on her dog the man hit in her in the temple. Kyra fought off her attacker who fled on his cycle.
Ms Taylor is now warning women not to walk alone with their pets in the area of the attack – a secluded stretch of Fawley Road, Calshot.
“I have heard about a number of attacks on female dog walkers in Calshot recently, I’m not sure if it’s about the dogs or the women but it’s dangerous,” said Ms Taylor.
“If it’s happened to a 16-year-old girl who was innocently walking her dog then it could happen to any woman in the area. She could have been left fighting for her life – he punched her hard on the temple.”
Kyra said that the man said that her dog was German Shepherd and a dangerous bred. In fact Riddick is an Akita who helped save his owner’s life last year. A year ago, Kyra fainted in the road and her dogs Riddick and Ben (who is a German Shepherd but was not with Kyra at the time of this week’s attack) pulled her to safety.
The mum-of-two has now been travelling around the area warning female residents to be on their guard. She said:
“Before all of these attacks, it was safe, it was a great place for the dogs to come because they could all meet up and run around on the beach.”
Ms Taylor meets other dog walkers three times a week and says she has seen a decline in numbers since the rumored attacks.
“The other woman who was attacked had a Labrador, so I don’t think it is a breed issue,” she said.
Other people who walk their dogs in the Calshot is a coastal village in Hampshire have also spoken out. Alison Cook from Lymington said:
“My biggest fear is me being attacked or someone hurting my dog. If people are going around throwing things at the dogs what is next? It seems like people are going out of their way to hurt and harm dog walkers.”
A spokesperson for the police said: “We received a report on March 21 regarding a 16-year-old girl who was assaulted as she walked her dog down Fawley Road, at around 12.30pm. She reported that a man cycled past her before getting off his bike and assaulting her.”