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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 10:40 am 
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Pet rescuer cleared over attack by dogs on jogger
Ada Lee ada.lee@scmp.com
South China Morning Post
January 19, 2012 Thursday

The founder of Hong Kong Dog Rescue yesterday walked free from Eastern Court after being accused over an attack by a pack of dogs on a jogger.

Deputy Special Magistrate Stephen Yeung Shu-bun ruled there was no evidence to show it was Sally Andersen's dogs that bit Mitch MacDonald.

Andersen, represented by Daniel Marash SC, was charged with contravening the Rabies Ordinance by having dogs that bit someone while they were not on a leash or under control in a public place.

At the trial, MacDonald, a 36-year-old Canadian who lives on Lamma Island, said he was surrounded by 20 to 25 dogs while running in a quarry in Sok Kwu Wan in October 2010. Medical records showed he was bitten twice.

The court was told Andersen had been out walking with more than 20 dogs and the group that bit MacDonald ran towards her when she yelled at them following the attack.

Yeung said prosecutor Neil Mitchell had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Andersen's dogs had bitten MacDonald.

He accepted that MacDonald was an honest and reliable witness but said his recollection of the incident was vague. "There is no clear evidence from [MacDonald] that the dogs that had bitten him went to the defendant," he said.

Andersen said in a statement that she did not witness the attack, because she was too far away and was walking in the opposite direction.

Another key point in the case was whether the location of the incident was a public place. Although Ho Ka-keung, an estate surveyor from the District Lands Office, told the court that the quarry was not intended for public use, Yeung ruled otherwise as members of the public could enter the place easily and used it frequently. It is currently leased to the Young Men's Christian Association.

Andersen said after the verdict that she was very relieved, describing the incident as an unfortunate accident. She said she was not surprised by the verdict.

"I'm just sorry it had to come to court in the first place. Evidence was made open right at the beginning, so there were no surprises," she said.

The court heard that Lamma Island had a considerable problem with strays and the 59-year-old animal-lover had taken care of some 5,000 dogs over the years. Andersen said yesterday that her dogs were not aggressive, saying joggers should pay attention to their surroundings.

"It was a very isolated incident."

January 18, 2012


As it was AFCD prosecuting, all they were interested in was the Rabies Ordinance.

Theoretically, the jogger could make a civil suit for pain & suffering damages. In the USA he'd have lawyers lined up to represent him on contingency and get a million dollars. Here, you need a million before you can go to court.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Andersen said in a statement that she did not witness the attack, because she was too far away and was walking in the opposite direction.


And she is saying that joggers should pay attention to their surroundings!

If she had been walking only one dog she could not have got away with saying "I was wasn't watching it at the time" the identification even for the shocked victim would have been easier.

It would be interesting to know whether she immediately claimed that the dog/s that bit the witness were not hers when the police made their enquiries.

I acknowledge that HKDR does a lot of good, but that does not mean we can't question whether the founder can control 20 dogs, or whether she or anyone else should muzzle all her dogs when off the lead and "too far away" to see.

Can she or anyone predict the behavior of a pack of 20 dogs?

Some of the dogs may have been mistreated, some may be vying for position in their new pack, and who really knows what might trigger a dog of unknown background to attack an innocent runner enjoying the countryside.


Does anyone know whether there are any legal limits on the number of dogs one human is allowed to take for a walk at one time?

Does anyone have any advice to share with people who enjoy walking, running and cycling on Lamma on what to do when you are suddenly surrounded by a pack of dogs barking, snapping and attacking your legs?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:27 pm 
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Serradura wrote:
what to do when you are suddenly surrounded by a pack of dogs barking, snapping and attacking your legs?


When I go hiking I take a walking stick, one of those cheap telescopic aluminium ones, though I used to use a length of stout bamboo. Aside from the obvious, it serves as a way to intimidate aggressive dogs. I've had small packs of 3 or 4 dogs come at me, but raising the stick was enough to make them back off. Ten or 20 dogs, though, you would have no hope.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:36 am 
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That the dogs did not respond when called, as stated by the magistrate, simply means that Cruella has absolutely no control over her hounds. Which was the pretty much the point of the case being put forward.

A friend sent me this:
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/heavy_petting/2012/01/animal_rescue_want_to_adopt_a_dog_or_cat_prepare_for_an_inquisition_.html

I thought this paragraph interesting:

Being an animal rescuer can be a potent source of identity, combining salvation and self-sacrifice. But in recent years the ASPCA has seen that, for some people, this identity crosses over into pathology. Dr. Randall Lockwood, a senior vice president of the ASPCA, says that around 25 percent of the 6,000 animal hoarding cases reported in the United States each year involve purported rescuers, up from less than five percent 20 years ago.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2012 3:58 pm 
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If the dogs did that damage to a healthy adult male it does not bear thinking about what they could do to a child.

This woman and her dogs regularly come up for debate on this forum and despite all the bad comments about these dangerous animals she is given the all clear to continue to 'care' for them.

Ridiculous!


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