A DUNFERMLINE boy was left emotionally scarred after two "out of control" dogs off their leads went for him in Pittencrieff Park.

Gary Fraser’s 10-year-old son is now “terrified” if a dog approaches him following the incident which left him in tears.

Mr Fraser told the Press: “Luckily, in this instance, my son was unharmed physically by what I am sure are normally well-behaved dogs.

“Nevertheless, these dogs went for my son in a manner to cause alarm and distress and he has definitely been affected by this mentally.

“I appreciate that there are many responsible dog owners but, unfortunately, the few do spoil things for the many and child safety has to take priority.”

Mr Fraser says he and his wife were with their son in the park on Saturday February 1 when the two dogs ran towards the boy.

He said: “A man and woman aged between 55 and 65 had three dogs, all off leads.

“Two of these dogs then proceeded to harass and make attempts to snap at my son completely unprovoked to his alarm and distress.

“My son was able to escape and get to my wife and the owners managed to curtail the animals, however, the attitude from the owners regarding the incident was extremely concerning.

“Initially, no offer of apology was made by the male or female and I suggested to them both that these dogs should clearly be on leads.

“The woman’s response was dismissive and non-remorseful.

“However, to be fair to the gentleman, he did see the state my son was in; crying his eyes out and clinging to my wife in fear.

“And attempts were made on his part to apologise.

“His wife, clearly annoyed at the admission of guilt, suggested that it was my son that should be on a lead!

“At this point, we walked away as, clearly, these are not people you can reason with.

“Had both owners shown remorse and concern for the safety of our child and uncontrolled threatening behaviour of their dogs, we would have at least have taken some conciliation from the matter.

"Alas, I fear the woman in particular felt that they had done nothing wrong and somehow our son was to blame for merely being in the same place as free-roaming, and in their eyes, ‘playful’ dogs.”

Mr Fraser contacted Fife Council’s safer communities team and received a response from one of the two dog control officers in Fife.

She said: “I will patrol the area as much as possible Monday to Friday, however, there is no service at weekends.”

Mr Fraser told the Press: "I feel the response is inadequate and meek and it appears that nothing can be done about the people involved in the incident and I doubt that we'll see much of an increase in patrols given the large area to be covered by only two dog wardens within 'office hours'.

"I believe there is a definite lack of responsibility on the part of many dog owners who appear to think their animals have the right to roam free to harrass and harm other animals and evidently children too." 

Dawn Jamieson, team manager, said: “We’re aware of this incident and would appeal for anyone who witnessed it to get in touch by calling 01592 583642 or emailing safercommunities.team@fife.gov.uk with any information which may help to identify the owners of the dogs.

“Action will be taken in line with the Control of Dogs Scotland Act if appropriate.

“Although we’ve a small team of dog wardens, we’ve many more safer communities officers who also patrol our streets and parks seven days a week.

“We ask all dog owners to keep their dogs under control whilst walking in public spaces.”

This incident follows Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville’s recent pleas for dog owners to keep their four-legged friends on leads to prevent them from attacking the town’s beloved peacocks.

She spoke up after visiting the aviary where volunteers look after the birds and discovered there were “ongoing problems with dogs chasing peacocks” in the park.