South Yorkshire Police: Barnsley man savaged by own dog given pet back - but must stick to strict rules

The strict set of rules were imposed during a court hearing yesterday.
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A Barnsley dog owner who was attacked by his own pet has been given the pooch back, but with a strict set of court-ordered sanctions, aimed at preventing the animal from causing further harm to his family or the community.

Nathan Kilner, aged 30, of King Street, Thurnscoe, spent three days in hospital after he was bitten by his Staffordshire bull terrier, Bonza, as he tried to escape from his garden earlier this year.

A Barnsley dog owner who was attacked by his own pet has been given the pooch back, but with a strict set of court-ordered sanctions imposed at Barnsley Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday, October 26, 2023). Pictured is a stock picture of a Staffordshire bull terrierA Barnsley dog owner who was attacked by his own pet has been given the pooch back, but with a strict set of court-ordered sanctions imposed at Barnsley Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday, October 26, 2023). Pictured is a stock picture of a Staffordshire bull terrier
A Barnsley dog owner who was attacked by his own pet has been given the pooch back, but with a strict set of court-ordered sanctions imposed at Barnsley Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday, October 26, 2023). Pictured is a stock picture of a Staffordshire bull terrier
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A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson added: "We were called at 1.18am on June 9, 2023, following reports Bonza, a Staffordshire bull terrier, had been seen attacking Mr Kilner on King Street.

"The dog was deemed to be aggressive in nature when our officers arrived and he was seized."

Dog Legislation Officer PC Paul Jameson added: "Upon arrival, Bonza was still displaying signs of aggression so the decision to seize him was made to protect his family and the community surrounding him.

"Bonza had already attempted to escape his property, and when dogs are in an aggressive, worried or stressed state it can take days for them to calm down back to their normal nature. These observations are needed to understand how much of a risk the dog poses to innocent members of the public."

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At a Barnsley Magistrates’ Court hearing on Thursday (October 26, 2023), a judge ordered that Bonza could be returned to his owner with the following conditions:

  • Bonza must be put in a secure cage or muzzled when visitors attend his home.
  • Bonza must be walked on a lead by a person aged 16 or over and muzzled at all times when out of his home including visiting other homes or in a private car.
  • Mr Kilner must take out third-party insurance, neuter Bonza so he cannot be bred and install higher fencing around his property so Bonza cannot escape.
  • Mr Kilner and Bonza must also attend dog training classes and pay police costs of £527.50.

PC Jameson added: "Our priority is public safety, and we welcome any measures to keep people safe. Imposing these conditions on the owners of dogs that have showed aggression decreases the likelihood of an attack on an innocent person or animal.

"Bonza came to our awareness through a third-party report.

"Without conditions and responsible ownership this dog could have caused further serious injuries to someone, including children.

"We urge you to report any dogs of concern to us.

"If we know a dog poses a risk or is causing fear we can step in and take action, including safeguarding any vulnerable people living in the property."

You can report concerns online, via live chat or by calling 101.