RSPCA calls for government to engage with young dog owners

Wednesday, 6th July 2011

The RSPCA is urging the government to engage with young dog owners and look into the use of 'status' dogs for anti-social purposes.

This announcement by the animal charity comes ahead of the backbench debate in parliament being held today (July 6th), where MPs will discuss dangerous dog legislation.

In order to combat the problem of status dogs, the RSPCA has commissioned a report entitled Status dogs, young people and criminalisation: towards a preventative strategy.

It will be written by Professor Gordon Hughes Dr Jenny Maher and Claire Lawson.

The report recommends that the government needs to target street cultures directly as at present, it is not reaching these marginalised groups.

Professor Hughes said: "Having discovered that the relationship these young people have with their dogs might, on balance, be a largely positive influence in their lives.

"These very dogs may represent a considerable tool with which 'we' as a society may be able to engage and rebuild connections to these often hard to reach, marginalised young people and their anti-social behaviour."