New community action group launched in Colne


A new community action group focused on animal welfare and dog attacks held their first public meeting in Colne on Tuesday night.

Colne Community Friends was set up after eight-month-old tabby Logie was killed by two dogs at the back of Alkincoats Road earlier in the year.

The initial 34 members have joined forces at North Valley Comminity Centre to share their stories, and encourage other residents to report any incidents involving animals to the police.

They have also come up with a number of ideas to help clamp down on dog attacks, on both a local and national scale.

These included creating an e-petition that would see a change in legislation, creating new local bylaws, and looking at how lighting and CCTV can be improved in the local area.

They also passed round a local petition, that called for the Government, local authorities and connected bodies to execute “greater powers over dog owners, who deliberately set their dogs to attack other pets and wildlife, and to make these offences punishable by law”.

Lisa Riley, an organiser of the meeting, said: “We have to give these animals a voice. They might just be cats or dogs, but they are still members of our family and it is our right to protect them.

“This is not just a problem in Colne, not just a problem in Lancashire - it is nationwide.”

And chairman Russell Tennant added: “If it is just a one-off incident, police can’t do much. People have to report any issue, as if they have a couple of incidents they can take more action.”

The meeting, which was attended by concerned residents and local councillors, heard that dog attacks has been a problem in Colne for decades.

Those in attendance were keen to stress that the fault should not lie with the “dangerous dogs”, but rather with the owners.

One resident said: “It is always the dogs who get the blame, and it is not their fault.”

And another resident Sue Bryant-Lauder added: “This community action group shows that we are taking it seriously - forming a group like this is the way forward.”

Councillors were on hand to answer questions over what is currently being done to address animal welfare in Colne. Police and the RSPCA were unable to attend, but will, along with other agencies, be invited to a second meeting in around six weeks time.

A “Saying No to Dangerous Dogs Campaign”, which was launched by Pendle Council, the police and the RSPCA in October, was brought to the attention of members. The campaign aims to alleviate fears that people may have when it comes to reporting dog issues.