Will Russian government ever crack down on dog owners?

The story of the little schoolgirl, a sixth-grader, who was attacked by an unleashed dog on a playground in Moscow, triggered an immediate reaction from Children's Rights Commissioner of the Russian Federation, Pavel Astakhov. The lawyer put forward an initiative to toughen responsibility for infringing the rules of secure animal management.

A bullmastiff dog, whom its owner was walking unmuzzled and unleashed near a children's playground, suddenly attacked a girl, a sixth-grader, in the beginning of May in Moscow. The girl was walking her Yorkshire terrier near the playground. The dog was actually attacking the terrier, but the girl tried to protect her pet from the aggressive animal. Passers-by rushed for help and pulled the furious bullmastiff off the little girl with great difficulty. The child was hospitalized in a critical condition.

The owner of the aggressive dog was in a state of alcoholic intoxication during the incident. The man's dog has attacked other people before, eyewitnesses of the tragedy said.

For some reason, the people who keep and breed aggressive dogs, are certain that their "little doggies" will never bite anyone. However, tragedies like this occur on a regular basis. Over 20 incidents like that occurred in Russia during the recent two years. Several of those storied ended with lethal outcomes when furious dogs literally mauled people to death.

It appears that the 57-year-old owner of the bullmastiff also thought that his dog was the most obedient and harmless creature in the world. However, the dog attacked a 13-year-old girl and bit off her finger. The child was hospitalized with lacerated wounds of her face, hands and legs.

The girl has been operated on; her life is out of danger, but this is the only piece of good news. For the rest of her life, the girl will have to live with a disfigured face.

Of course, this story does not have many dead bodies in it. It's neither a subway explosion, nor a special anti-terrorist operation. It's just one little girl who fell victim to an aggressive dog and its careless owner.

Lawyer Pavel Astakhov put forward an initiative to toughen responsibility for violating the rules of secure animal management. Konstantin Sabinin, an animal rights activist, believes that the problem will remain unsolved in Russian until the authorities ban the breeding and sale of aggressive dogs.

"Nothing will change until the government takes strict measures. It is children that suffer from these dogs in the first place. I believe that nothing will change in this country until this situation touches upon someone very important so to speak," the official said.

Bullmastiffs are bred as watch dogs. They are known as docile and obedient animals. This is probably the reason why its owner was walking his pet unleashed and unmuzzled.

Yulia Noskina

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov