Warning to East End dog-owners about animals running wild in park after pets are savaged

Chris Rawlins and his Charles II Cavalier spaniels Cyril (left) and Ivy

Chris Rawlins and his Charles II Cavalier spaniels Cyril (left) and Ivy - Credit: Archant

Town Hall bosses have ordered park gates to be kept open with padlocks during the day in London’s East End after two small Cavalier cocker spaniels were badly mauled by a mastiff let off its lead by its owner to run loose in an enclosed green space.

Chris Rawlins and his Charles II Cavalier spaniels Cyril (left) and Ivy

Chris Rawlins and his Charles II Cavalier spaniels Cyril (left) and Ivy - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets council’s chief executive has ordered padlocks to be used to keep gates open to stop some dog-owners shutting them to let their animals run free.

It follows a horrifying attack when 53-year-old Chris Rawlins’ two spaniels were set upon by the Bordeaux mastiff at Selwyn Green in Bow.

One of his pets, Ivy, was almost killed and needed three days of vet surgery to save its life.

“They had punctured backs after being mauled by the mastiff,” Chris told the East London Advertiser.

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“Ivy’s muscles were shredded and her intestines were exposed. I just got her to the vet in time for an emergency operation. The vet didn’t give much hope that she’d recover.”

But the feisty little canine pulled through and was back this week with its companion Cyril at Selwyn Green near Mile End’s Grove Road.

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Chris is taking legal action to recover £3,500 vet fees which could rise further with more treatment Ivy is continuing with.

The problem is some dog-owners closing the gates to let their animals run wild in the park,” Chris pointed out. “They are effectively ‘privatising’ the park fort their own use.”

He complained to the council and was assured all gates would be bolted open in the day and closed only at night—to discourage some owners letting their animals off the lead to run around.

Tower Hamlets councillor Josh Peck, who represents the Bow West neighbourhood, had previously taken up the issue of gates being unofficially shut by some park-users.

That has now led the council’s chief executive Will Tuckley to order the gates kept open with padlocks from now on.

A Town Hall spokesman told the paper: “We are reminding dog-owners that they must be responsible when caring for their pets.

“The attack on Mr Rawlins’ dogs was a distressing incident. The gates at Selwyn Green will remain locked open from dawn to dusk.”

The council—which manages 20 parks and green spaces in Bow, Bethnal Green, Stepney, Mile End, Poplar, Shadwell, Wapping, Spitalfields and Tower Hill—does not have a policy where gates are locked open in daytime. The gates at Selwyn Green are being locked open in the day as a temporary measure.

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