Is London starting to look like an episode of "When Dogs Attack"? According to recent NHS statistics, the number of attack victims under 18 seeking emergency treatment has more than doubled in our city over the past four years.
So what's being blamed for this rash of dog-bites-underaged-man stories? One theory is that attack dogs have increased in popularity, becoming a "badge of honour in some communities."
While we're more used to seeing fancy little terriers, sprightly beagles and other toy-size dogs scampering through London's parks unleashed, barely noticing our presence, we'd be remiss to say we wouldn't be scared of a doberman, German shepherd or rottweiler bounding after us, fangs bared, on our Sunday stroll.
Some are calling for more restrictions on dangerous dog aficionados, though there are no more breeds being added to the banned barker list, which includes only the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino and fila Brasileiro. However, city orgs, including the Met and RSPCA, are responding to the spate of dog attacks by launching a responsible dog ownership campaign, which will involve cracking down on delinquent dog owners.
Time to take Fluffy to obedience school or pay for the consequences.
The craziest dog pic we could find courtesy of stuart100's Flickrstream