1. ITV Report

Woman calls for change in law after her pet cat is mauled to death by neighbour's dog

Nine-year-old Maizey was mauled to death in her front lawn. Credit: BPM Media

A woman's whose neighbour's dog mauled her cat to death on her own front lawn has called for a major change to the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Emma Woollen, from Burton upon Trent, was horrified to learn she could not take legal action following the death of her cat Maizey following a ferocious attack by an out of control whippet.

She is now campaigning for the Dangerous Dogs Act, which has been unchanged for 20 years, to cover attacks on animals in and around their own homes.

Emma Woollen, pictured with her cat Maizey. Credit: BPM Media

Maizey was chased around the local estate and was mauled to death on her own front lawn.

The animal attacking her was a rescue dog, who had only been adopted four days earlier.

Ms Woollen said:

The most upsetting thing is that it happened where she should have been safe.

She should have been able to retreat to her garden knowing it was her own patch and that she wouldn't get chased.

She was nine and in the time of her life. She could not have been a happier, healthier little moggie. She brought unconditional love, joy and laughter to our lives.

– Emma Woollen
Emma is calling for a change to Dangerous Dogs Act, following Maizey's death. Credit: BPM Media

Mrs Woollen was away in Manchester when she learnt from husband Peter what had happened to Maizey.

The incident was reported to police the following day, but she was shocked to discover she was powerless to take action.

The boss at the local police station rang us the next day and told us the Dangerous Dogs Act doesn't cover harm to cats, dogs or any other animal.

They said that if the dog had come and done any damage to our fence we could have claimed against that but you can't claim damage against any animal.

I was really surprised and shocked. I appreciated their efforts but I was disappointed because it was something that had shaken us so much.

– Emma Woollen
Emma's husband Peter, pictured with the couple's pet cat Maizey. Credit: BPM Media

After researching the Dangerous Dogs Act, Mrs Woollen discovered it had not been amended since 1997.

She has since launched a petition calling for protected animals to be included in the amendment rather than just people, and has already received 1,082 signatures in support.

Mrs Woollen said the Dangerous Dogs Act should take appropriate action following an attack on protected animals – especially when an animal is attacked around its own property.

She said:

It just seems crazy that if a person smashed up our garden or reversed into something or broke a window you'd be able to claim damage, but yet your animal who is your family member is killed and it's nothing.

It just feels so unequal.

– Emma Woollen
Emma's petition requires 100,000 signatures before it can be debated in parliament. Credit: BPM Media

Mrs Woollen approached the owners of the dog and asked them to return it to the animal rescue, which they refused to do.

The petition requires 100,000 signatures to be considered for parliamentary debate.