Tylers Story: Tyler the friendly crossbreed was seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act, he left home in perfect condition but was broken in solitary confirement. A volunteer on a canine helpline received a telephone call from Debbie shortly after her dog Tyler was seized under Section One of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA), for being of the type; a home visit to the owner was arranged to offer support: It was an upsetting home visit, we just sat and listened to Debbie as she poured it all out. I remember staring at the large bloody clumps of her hair on the mantelpiece, pulled out in the struggle on the morning her dog Tyler was seized under the DDA. Following the introduction of the DDA and a summer of intense negative news coverage for dogs, three year old crossbred dog Tyler was forcibly removed from his home at 7.30am on December 20th 1991 amidst scenes of great distress. Debbie answered her door dressed in her nightgown, there were at least 5 arresting officers, two wore protective clothing and carried catchpoles. Tyler was dragged from the bed where he had been sleeping upstairs with a 6 year old child, his neck bleeding as the catch poles tightened in the struggle. It was reported that his owner began to scream and tried to obstruct the arrest of her dog by not letting him be taken away, her arm was put into a hammer lock and she was forcible led away down the street in her nightgown and arrested, her dog was driven away in the back of a van. Like all dogs seized under section one of the Act, Tyler was held in kennels at a secret location awaiting his fate, during this time he was terribly treated. Owner contact was denied. The case eventually came before the Magistrates Court and the owner was found guilty (not helped by the fact that under this law the burden of proof is reversed). The Judge sentenced the crossbred dog to death for being a pit bull type acting under the new Home Office guidelines that condemn any dog for the way it looks. Tyler had never harmed anyone or anything, he had done no wrong. The case later went before the Crown Court on Appeal; Tyler was kept alive but still held in secret kennels. Acting for the defence Dr. Mugford showed a video of his behavioural assessment to the Court, Tyler was introduced and mixed with other dogs, a sheep, an imitation cat, a dog known to be dog aggressive, confronted by strangers etc, throughout he remained calm and docile and at no time showed any signs of being dangerous. Mike Homan and Vic Pounds both Staffordshire Bull Terrier experts also gave detailed and exhaustive evidence for the defence. It was revealed during the lengthy hearing that Tyler had sustained several injuries whilst held in solitary confinement at a secret location. The injuries received were listed by Dr. Mugford, these included untreated lacerations from the catchpole used to remove him from his family home, two holes inside his mouth, a deep puncture wound to his shoulder and flesh missing from a hind leg with other small flesh wounds and pressure sores. Tyler was described as visibly malnourished and bloated, being tender around his abdomen. Tyler: Brutalised, Vic Pounds examined Tyler and gave his evidence in Court. He stated that Tyler had wounds on his right shoulder which had been treated and on his left pasterns there was a round and fairly deep wound about one inch in diameter which he thought had been inflicted fairly recently, the wounds looked sore and was still open. He said I have never seen a dog in worse condition. In his opinion Tyler had been brutalised and was in no fit condition to be thoroughly examined. Tyler, once full of life, has given up, he can take no more. Despite all the evidence, the Judges found his owner guilty of owning an unregistered pit bull type and ordered Tyler to be put to death in seven days. Owner Debbie fell back in her seat with the shock of the verdict, overcome by the outcome she began to cry and beg the court to spare her dog, as the Judge left the room. Supporters present at the hearing described the atmosphere; many people in the room were devastated when the judge said Tyler had to die men and women alike had tears in their eyes, even some of the observers not connected with the case. To hear a woman begging and pleading for her dogs life, completely broken with grief, calling out to anyone who could hear, is the most distressing thing I have witnessed in this situation said one observer. Debbie went home that day to her young son who was waiting with Tylers Christmas present, still wrapped up, certain of his friends return. Tyler had endured 14 months in confinement before he lost his life on 9th March 1993. Shortly afterwards, his owner received a heavy black plastic bin liner delivered to her doorstep, it was cold and dripping with fluid, when she looked inside she found the dead lifeless body of her beloved Tyler. This is how breed specific legislation works in the real world, Targetting the innocent dog.