Today’s Telegraph runs an interesting piece about the problems of stray dog packs roaming in Italy. As we seek to utilise public funds as best as possible to fund our dog warden service in the UK, it is often worth remember how well the profession does despite being seriously under-resourced.
The threat from wild dogs is most acute in Italy’s southern half, which each year attracts millions of foreign tourists.
A German tourist is being treated for injuries after being savaged by a pack of eight wild dogs on a beach in Sicily on Tuesday.
Doctors said the 24-year-old woman was so badly mauled in the attack near Marina di Modica, 12 miles from the city of Ragusa, that she is fighting for her life in hospital. Her face was disfigured and her overall condition was “desperate”.
“They were tearing her apart and they would have killed her if people hadn’t intervened,” one witness said.
On Sunday a 10-year-old boy was killed after being pulled from his bicycle by a pack of stray dogs in the same area.
Earlier, in two separate incidents, wild dogs bit a nine-year-old boy and a 40-year-old man.
The problem of straying dogs in the UK is, of course, a serious one and is a battle that will require a lot of will, effort and financially input if we are to truly beat it – but sometimes its worth taking the time to acknowledge that things in the UK could and would be far, far worse were it not for the frontline dog wardens who help to reunite dogs with owners, protect the public from attacks and fight to educate owners about the responsible way to care for their dogs.