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Nightmare

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Horse and Hound, Mar 31, 2011.


  1. Horse and Hound

    Horse and Hound PetForums VIP

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    Had a horrid dream last night, that Harvey was siezed under the DDA.

    But looking at this this morning, I've got even more worried.

    [​IMG]

    I got a reply from an email I send on the Lennox case, saying that officers are allowed to sieze a dog displaying the characteristics of a specific type.

    What the hell does that mean?

    Its really put the wind up me now... :(
     
  2. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    It means that if a police or council officer think a dog looks like a pit bull they can seize the dog and the burden of proof falls upon the owner to prove different. No 'innocent until proven guilty' under the DDA!

    It is a very bad law.

    DDA 1991 | Dogs Act 1871.
     
  3. BenMac

    BenMac PetForums Senior

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    jeeeezo :(
     
  4. sailor

    sailor PetForums VIP

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    You have the rescue centre to back you up, and you are a responsible owner etc so on that side of things, I think your safe.

    His still just a young pup, so you cant see much of anything in him, apart from he is clearly a staffy, or a staffy mix.

    If I saw you passing by with him in the street, I would just assume he was a staffy and wouldn`t question his type at all.

    Try not to stress !!! Easier said than done tho, my sailor is a staffy x rotty and I am still intouch with his parents owners,yet I still get paranoid about him being seized because someone might doubt his breeding
     
  5. jenniferx

    jenniferx PetForums VIP

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    Well our local council wouldn't know a pit bull from a pomeranian.

    With the Lennox case even with the evidence they have that he isn't a pit bull and all the ways that they demonstrated their responsibility (dna testing, microchipping, licensing, muzzling/on lead walking...) they can still hold him for a year in a cell and then say "PTS". It's so messed up.

    I'd be nervous too with a staff cross, but then I do live in Belfast...
     
  6. Amethyst

    Amethyst PetForums VIP

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    The streets are full of dogs that look like the Pitbull type, so I wouldn't worry too much, it's only when they injure someone that they attract attention.

    So unless he hurts someone or someones dog or you have a vindictive neighbour who makes a complaint etc he should be fine, try and chill out :)
     
  7. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    I so wish this were true.

    Unfortunately it can be as simple as being in the wrong place at the wrong time - a malicious neighbour, a dog that strays, an over-zealous vet, anything - might suddenly bring an owner to the notice of the authorities.

    The Metropolitan Police (who have targets to meet) patrol London parks and festivities on occassions when many people will be in attendance. The owner of a sharpei/retriever seized in Lovebox Park didn't realise there was a festival that day. She was just walking her dog as per usual. She got just inside the park gates when an unmarked van pulled alongside and officers spilled out.

    The Status Dog Unit get a decent haul each year at the Notting Hill Carnival. The first catch of the day, the year before last, was at 8:30am. A local resident, who was worried that the carnival noise might disturb his dog while he was at work, was walking the dog to his mother's house, a mile away, when it was seized. If you have police officers looking to seize dogs then they will seize dogs. They are (rightly) not there to decide who can and can't break the law. They simply enforce it. If an owner is caring and responsible - that's tough.

    Sylvia Ridgewell, 71, stood in a courtroom full of strangers and begged for her dog as the tears streamed down her face. This is how she begged...

    It's clearly not just hoodies that get caught up in the DDA.

    Of the 498 dogs kenneled by the Met. police last year only 28 had acted in a dangerous manner. 470 were seized solely on the basis of their appearance and many of those will have been owned by ordinary people who walked into the wrong place at the wrong time or, like Sylvia, just got unlucky.

    It would be comforting, I can see, to believe that the authorities would use discretion (and some do) but it is wrong to assume that, if one is a responsible owner, one would be safe.
     
    #7 Johnderondon, Mar 31, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2011
  8. Horse and Hound

    Horse and Hound PetForums VIP

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    Its an attrocious law, I thought too that it was just if they posed a danger but it states there that any dogs that look of type can be siezed.

    Thanks for that SHibby, he's going back for neutering in 3 months so i'm going to raise it with them then, just say that I'm concerned a bit.
     
  9. LexiLou2

    LexiLou2 PetForums VIP

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    as the owner of an unregistered staff is there anything you can do that would help your cause should the worst happen? Lexi is so small in comparrison to what is becoming the 'normal' staff but i still worry. We were out walking a few months ago when two police women stopped us just to have a stroke and a fuss but i held my breath the whole time in case soemthing was said. I am still in contact with the woman who owns both her parents and she has her good citizen bronze has been to numerous training classes has a trainer who can vouch for her and a vet, all her docs say staffordshire bull terrier as does her microchip, would any of this mean anything or would it be a case of that looks like a pitbull we will seize it?

    Also if its just on looks can they seize a KC registered staff?
     
  10. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    I believe they can and have done.
     
  11. OllieBob

    OllieBob PetForums Senior

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    September 1997 ‘Gizmo’, a pedigree SBT owned by Patrick McGrath. The dog was seized by Metropolitan Police Officers as an unregistered, illegal Pit Bull ‘type’ and it was down to Mr McGrath to prove that his dog was not of the type. Many would have thought that the dog’s official KC pedigree showing that it was a purebred SBT from generations of SBTs would have seen the case thrown out of court. This was not so.

    During the court hearing, the police officer ‘expert’ faced cross-examination relating to his assessment of the dog being a Pit Bull ‘type’ when it was, in fact, a KC-registered Stafford.

    The transcript makes worrying reading:

    DEFENCE: Do you dispute the (dog’s) registration?

    OFFICER: In my experience of Kennel Club registration, it means very little.

    DEFENCE: Do you not trust KC records?

    OFFICER: No. I would not.

    The officer then went on to make the outrageous assertion that a KC pedigree could "be bought from a pet shop."

    The judge in the case ruled that Gizmo, although a purebred, KC-registered Staffordshire Bull Terrier, albeit a slightly taller than usual specimen was, in law, a Pit Bull ‘type’.

    SBT is a smaller dog but has the same body type as the APBT for the most part which can cause concern for would be owners. Another reason people are reluctant to take on rescue staffies and their crosses.
     
  12. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    It is worth noting that the breed standard for Staffordshire Bull Terriers was only recently reduced to 16" from 18".

    There's still plenty of tall staffies around.
     
  13. Eroswoof

    Eroswoof Guest

    Have you seen the thread about poor Fudge :(

    Apart from that, nightmares really are horrid *big hug* and both your dogs are gorgeous

    Em
    xx
     
  14. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    So if the onus is on the owner to prove what their dog is, and KC papers and DNA testing mean nothing, then what do they want exactly, when thats all there is?
     
  15. Johnderondon

    Johnderondon PetForums VIP

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    In the court.

    Court is often a bizarre experience for an onlooker. Expert witnesses will take the stand in hearings that often take two or more days to hear fully and discuss each point in turn. The very serious topic of dangerous dogs is stripped down to the bare bones, quite literally. The experts will state whether in their opinion the shape of the eyes is correct, whether the coat is a single coat or not. They will argue over whether a tail is pump handled when relaxed.


    They will all produce pictures to try and prove their point. Interpretation of each point will be argued. The dog will be weighed and measured and all will be noted and scored. The Judge will then have to decide if the defence have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the dog isn’t a prohibited type. It is not up to the prosecution in Section One cases, to prove the dog is a pit bull type to obtain a guilty verdict.


    So there we have it. That’s what a pit bull type aka “dangerous dog” is in the UK legal system today. Its any dog that a judge believes scores enough points, mainly in conformation, on a breed standard that is no longer used in that exact form as a standard for that breed.

    DDA 1991 | Detail and practice.
     
    Nonnie likes this.
  16. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    These cases definitely need more publicity, even I didn't realise dogs can be simply taken - I too thought they at least had to do something wrong or definitely be a thorough bred Pit Bull! :(

    I get so angry and so sad because of this ludicrous law - mad at the authorities and sad for the owners. I honestly think if I had a dog that was due to be taken away under the act, i'd rather have it pts in my home. Having your beloved dog isolated and kept in filthy conditions wouldn't be an option for me - failing that i'd hide it in a friends kennels and lie low myself!

    Why is DNA testing admissible in court - Wouldn't it tell if a dog is truly a PBT?
     
  17. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    Apparently:

    "Currently is [sic] there is no DNA test that can determine a ‘pit bull terrier’. Dogs are deemed ‘pit bull type’ mainly on account of their physical conformation – what they look like, regardless of parentage."

    Source: Dangerous Dogs Act - Dog Owners Information, Help & Advice
     
  18. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    Its absolutely ridiculous that they have a 'type' which half the time is just a normal dog who they think 'looks like one'. They'd never get away with doing it to people, prizes for guessing why.

    I think I would be like you H&H and worry about it, horrible horrible 'law' :nonod:
     
  19. shibby

    shibby PetForums VIP

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    I wonder how many of them would get this simple test correct?:

    Pet Pitbull - Find the Pit Bull
     
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