This was in the news recently:
“Police ‘not looking after impounded dogs’, says trainer”
A leading dog expert (Retired Metropolitan Police dog training instructor Ian McParland) has claimed that dogs seized by Avon & Somerset police are being mistreated, saying that he found one dog he visited at the kennels had received no human contact for six months, had not been exercised in that time, had no bedding in a bare cage, no toys and no veterinary treatment.
(quote) Spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset police Catherine Foster said: “The dog in this particular case was seized after it was found to be a dangerous banned breed. Avon and Somerset Police uses a dedicated privately-run kennels where dogs such as these are kept while court proceedings are under way.” The force refuses to divulge the exact location of the kennels involved.
This is disgusting, and sadly it’s happening all over the country. Dogs are being seized by police under an arcane ruling of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA), which states that in the UK it is illegal to own any dog that is a type of dog known as a “pit bull type” (this is Breed Specific Legislation – BSL). The DDA uses the standards for American Pit Bull Terriers of the American Dog Breeders Association, and as far as I’m aware these standards have been revised at least once, but UK police forces are still using the original standards. Once a dog is deemed to be a pit bull type it is seized and placed in kennels, with no contact with its owner, and it is then up to the owner to fight against the decision and have their pet returned, which can take months if not years.
Many of the dogs seized and destroyed are the loving Staffordshire Bull Terriers, nicknamed the ‘Nanny Dog’ due to it’s exceptional love of humans especially children, and their willingness to do anything to please it’s owner.
It is also this willingness to please which makes the Staffie an excellent choice for dog-fighting, a sick sport which is shockingly still a big past-time in the UK. Loving pets are stolen and used as ‘bait’ to train fighting dogs, and are then usually thrown from embankments and left to die, or weighted down and thrown in rivers or canals. The scum that do this will also scour local papers looking for adverts with dogs needing to be re-homed free or very cheap, so if advertising your dog PLEASE do so responsibly, and make sure you carry out a home-check, or better still re-home your dog through a local organisation.
Please visit http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/bring-steven-home/ for an example of a dog currently being held, and please also sign the petition!
DDAWatch is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to monitoring the DDA, and campaigning for change. Please visit them at http://www.ddawatch.co.uk/about_us.html to find out more and see if you can help.