Sheffield dog attack: Judge returns seized dog to owner after High Street attack prompts armed police response

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Gary Walters was given his dogs back by a judge, but with strict conditions.

A Sheffield man has appeared in court after his dog attacked another dog in Sheffield city centre, prompting an armed police response.

Gary Walters, aged 49, of no fixed abode, was arrested and charged with being a person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control, and he had both his dogs seized, after the attack on High Street in Sheffield city centre on Friday, December 8.

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Walters' dog, an American Bull Dog named 'Bozo', attacked another dog of bull breed - inflicting minor injuries. Walters appeared before a judge at Sheffield Magistrates Court yesterday (December 11, 2023).

Armed police have stopped traffic and trams along High Street in Sheffield city centre. Armed police have stopped traffic and trams along High Street in Sheffield city centre.
Armed police have stopped traffic and trams along High Street in Sheffield city centre. | National World

Following the hearing, the judge deemed it was safe to return Bozo to Walters, but with conditions. The judge ruled Bozo could not be walked off lead, must not be walked by anyone under the age of 16 and must wear a muzzle to prevent further biting of another dog or person.

Walters was also fined £150 and ordered to pay £85 in court costs and a £60 surcharge.

Chief Inspector Emma Cheney, leading the work around dangerous dogs in South Yorkshire said: “Your dog is your responsibility.  Your dog’s actions are your responsibility, whether that be in your home or while in public.

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Armed police shut down High Street on Friday, December 8 following the dog attack.Armed police shut down High Street on Friday, December 8 following the dog attack.
Armed police shut down High Street on Friday, December 8 following the dog attack. | NW

“The conditions imposed by the judge will hopefully prevent further harm being caused by Walter’s dogs.

“Our priority is to prevent serious injury and harm to our communities and that starts with responsible dog ownership. Any dog has the potential to attack and bite, whether they’ve shown previous signs of aggression or not."

High Street was completely shut off to traffic and trams suspended as armed police responded to the incident last week.

Huge crowds formed an unofficial barrier in the absense of police tape, as officers holding rifles spoke with witnesses.

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CI Cheney continued: “As Christmas approaches and your home and our towns and cities become busier please be aware of your dog’s body language and understand their needs. If your dog can become anxious, walk it during quiet times and ensure they have somewhere to go, away from visitors.

“It can take a few days for your dog and their behaviour to return to normal after becoming stressed. Think and be responsible to help keep everyone safe.

“If you have concerns about a dog in your community posing a risk to the public or to those who live in the property with it, please report it to us.

“We are not here to seize and destroy dogs, we can work with the owners and ensure vulnerable people are safeguarded.”

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