ALMOST a year has passed since teenager Jade Lomas-Anderson was mauled to death by a pack of dogs.
Jade died while eating a meat pie at a friend’s house in Atherton on March 26 last year.
Now, coinciding with the first anniversary of Jade’s death, ITV has launched a two-part documentary, “Dangerous Dogs”.
Airing on March 20 and 27, the programme looks at whether “devil dog” headlines are fair, or whether irresponsible owners are to blame.
Jade’s step-father, Michael Anderson, who has launched a campaign calling for tougher sentences for owners whose dogs attack people, said: “It does need to be in the media as much as possible.
“We do not think the Government’s reforms go far enough.
“There have been so many cases since Jade’s death, a couple involving little babies.
“It seems that the present Government want to do it their way and not the way the families of victims want it done.”
Two Staffordshire bull terriers, a bull mastiff and an American bulldog savaged the 14-year-old before going on the rampage inside the house in Chaucer Grove on the Hag Fold estate.
Riot police had to be deployed to enter the house, before a marksman killed the animals. Nobody was ever prosecuted for Jade’s death — because there is no law under which to prosecute them.
If a dog is on private property, its owner is not responsible for the consequences of it being out of control.
Her mother and stepfather, Shirley and Michael Anderson, as well as Bolton West MP Julie Hilling have worked tirelessly to change this since Jade’s death.
In November, the Andersons called on the House of Lords to approve an amendment to the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, which would have given officers the power to impose conditions to owners of dogs with a history of being out of control.
The attempts failed.
Jade’s parents have welcomed tougher sentences for irresponsible owners but have urged the Government to focus more on preventing tragedies rather than reacting to them.
While ITV were making the programme, three people were killed by dogs in the UK, while a staggering 6,000 required hospital treatment after being attacked. MP Ms Hilling said: “Never trust a dog to be alone with a children or babies is a message I want out there.
“The more we can do to raise the issue of dangerous dogs and awareness of the consequences the better.
“The Government has said that everything we want will be contained in future legislation.
“We are not convinced.”
The long-term impact of the horrors of March 26, 2013 remain unclear.
Nothing can bring Jade back, but the unwavering efforts of her parents still have a real chance of preventing other families enduring such traumas.
Poignantly, Mr Anderson added: “It is very difficult for me and my wife at the moment with the anniversary.
“We’ve only just celebrated Jade’s birthday. She would have been 15 on March 9.”