High-rise ban plan for dogs is ruff justice

Ian Nolan was among the dog attack victims

Ian Nolan was among the dog attack victims

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THERE have been calls to enforce a ban on keeping dogs in high-rise flats in the wake of a pet mauling five people in a Leith tower block.

Leith councillor Gordon Munro has tabled a motion that will go before councillors urging them to take action in the wake of the case involving a dog called Big Daddy in Cables Wynd House earlier this month.

Big Daddy's attack left five people hospitalised

Big Daddy's attack left five people hospitalised

As part of the tenancy agreement signed by everyone who lives in council-owned high rises, it is forbidden to own any kind of dog as a pet. But these rules have been relaxed – both formally and informally – meaning more pets are being spotted in the landings and corridors of the flats.

Cllr Munro said it was important not to unfairly target responsible dog owners, although residents’ groups said the local authority should go further and issue a complete ban.

He said: “There is a clear need to review policy so that tenants and concierges are clear what is and is not allowed. I appreciate there is a world of difference between Winnie the widow with her westie and Darren the dealer with his doberman, it is how this is discerned and managed that I hope will be tackled by this report.”

A relaxation of rules is already in place in Wauchope House and Greendykes House in Craigmillar, and it is expected a report will be filed on its success or otherwise.

It is understood concierges across the Capital have also turned a blind eye to the presence of dogs.

However, Betty Stevenson, convener of the Edinburgh Tenants Federation, said: “It’s very simple, it says in the tenancy agreement that no dogs are allowed.

“I don’t think we can have rules for some and rules for others. No-one living in a high rise should have a dog, whoever they are. It’s by far the most complained about issue we get, whether it’s the intimidation factor or dog mess.

“High flats are no places for dogs – it’s cruel to keep them in there and I hope the council acts.”

Owner Jean Francois Vittemer and Tesco worker Ian Nolan, 41, were among five people hospitalised after Johnson pitbull Big Daddy went on the rampage earlier this month. A specialist police dog handling unit eventually managed to contain the dog.