‘Dangerous dogs’ signs have owners barking mad in Co Meath

Fine Gael’s Alan Tobin says he is “absolutely delighted” at the signs

Dogs, Meath, dangerous dogs, posters, sign, Alan Tobin, Facebook, Ashbourne

Image: Facebook/ Alan Tobin

An animal rights groups has launched a stinging attack against a local councillor for putting up posters warning of ‘dangerous dogs’.

Meath County Councillor Alan Tobin has sparked an online backlash with the campaign. Mr Tobin said he was "absolutely delighted" the signs had gone up.

The posters, complete with pictures, show apparent dangerous breeds of dogs.

They have been put up around Ashbourne over the past week.

“It still amazes me that some people think these dogs are ideal family pets”, Mr Tobin says.

The signs also give dog owners advice when they are in public areas with their pets.

Among the breeds on the poster are American Pit Bull Terriers, Bull Mastiffs, Japanese Akitas and Rottweilers.

A post on Facebook has received more than 130,000 responses.

The Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) say Mr Tobin has made life that bit harder for already troubled dogs.

ARAN’s John Carmody says: "Councillor Tobin should stick with local issues that pertain to people instead of coming out with hideous and inaccurate comments that have little basis and that are absolutely hurtful to the many species of dog such as staffies and pit-bulls".

"Mr Tobin is sadly going to rubber stamp the already inaccurate view that these animals are dangerous animals and that families across Ireland should be aware - far from it".

"If anything, these animals are hugely exploited by calculated people who turn them into vicious and nasty blood-thirsty creatures".

Councillor Tobin says this is just a visualisation of existing legislation.

“When the signs were being put up, we asked ‘could we get pictures of the breeds that in the Dangerous Dogs Act or the Restricted Breeds, so people can relate to it,” he told Newstalk Lunchtime.

“I’ve had a lot of messages and a lot of e-mails from people saying ‘I support you’”.

He says he will not be taking down the post, but will review the comments and take them into consideration.

But some dog owners are wagging their fingers, and not their tails, over the development.

It has led to people posting pictures of their dogs to Mr Tobin’s Facebook page.

One user wrote: "Say hi to Zoe. A German Sheppard who takes on the roll of mammy to abandoned kittens. Here she is with a three week old kitten snuggled into her".
Another says: "My doggy George the German Sheppard with his best pal".
While another asks: "Does this look like a dangerous animal to you? No she is not!".
And another says: "These six Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the most loving and loyal dogs I have ever met!!".
"Meet my two beautiful well mannered dogs Macey, and Nilo, Nilo is an American Pit bull mix and you couldn't ask for a gentler dog, great with our 5 year old daughter too", says another.