Killer dog owner ordered to keep them muzzled on a lead after cat attack

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A MAN whose dogs attacked and killed a cat on a recreation ground has been ordered to keep his dogs muzzled and on a lead.

John Howarth, 30, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, was ordered to keep his dogs under control pay £760 in costs after the incident at Tatton Recreation Ground.

Chorley Magistrates’ Court heard how Howarth was seen by an off-duty RSPCA inspector in the grounds with his four dogs, three lurchers and a border terrier.

The dogs, which weren’t on leads, had hold of a ginger cat.

Howarth shouted that the cat was dead but he couldn’t get his dogs off it.

The officer went to help and eventually Howarth got two of the dogs on their leads.

In an interview, he admitted he should not have had his dogs off the lead and said he was ‘gutted’ about the incident and expressed regret over the attack.

The cat was not microchipped so its owner was never traced.

Councillor Paul Walmsley, who oversees public protection for Chorley Council, said: “We brought this complaint because these dogs were quite clearly not kept under proper control by Howarth.

“He had breached the Dog Control Orders that we introduced in 2012 to protect people and other animals following the rising numbers of complaints from people, because they should have been on leads within the recreation ground, if they had been, this incident would likely not have happened.

“Mr Howarth is lucky that this is a civil complaint and not a prosecution for breaching our Dog Control Orders or he would now have a criminal record, as it is he has a hefty bill to pay and must keep his dogs on leads and muzzled when out in public areas.”