Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Puppies die in police care as taxpayers foot astonishing £865k bill.

Puppies die in police care as taxpayers foot astonishing £865k bill.

Figures released under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request have again shown that the seizure of dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act continues to be an animal welfare disaster as puppies die while in the care of the Metropolitan police.

The figures supplied to DDAWatch, state that between 28-02-09 and 31-07-09 a total of ten puppies and one adult dog died while incarcerated. One puppy died as a result of being crushed to death by its mother at night. A further 8 puppies from two separate litters, died as a result of Parvo virus, while one adult dog and yet another puppy die due to “unknown cause”.

The Met police have come under fire repeatedly over the last 18 months by anti BSL groups and dog lovers following a string of deaths at their holding kennels and the condition of some of the dogs returned. During the 26 week period covered in the FOI the Met police seized a grand total of 332 dogs as alleged “pit bull types”. 17 of those dogs also subject to a charge under section three of the DDA, dangerously out of control. A further 65 “legal” breeds were seized under section three charges making a total of 397 dogs in secure police appointed kennels. Only four of those 397 involved a charge for cruelty.

The seizure of puppies is an often controversial one. Puppies, particularly of crossed breeding can vary greatly in size and shape until they reach maturity making this one of the reason’s why many will not attempt to identify a dog less than 7 months of age.
The wording of the legislation means even a dog born of parents deemed “pit bull type” may not grow into an illegal dog. When seizing a bitch and puppies still nursing, the stress can often cause the mother to abandon the pups or even if very extreme cases, to kill them. While common knowledge those enforcing the DDA often give no thought to this.

The Met police also operate a “leave at home” policy which suggests many dogs accused of being a banned breed do not need to be seized prior to court hearings if of good temperament and with a responsible owner. This could indeed improve the welfare issues but the Met have stated they only intend to apply this to 10% of all dogs seized by year-end. The FOI shows this percentage is currently overstated as
only four dogs were left at home – a mere 0.01% of dogs seized during this period.

The cost of boarding, court, transport and vets fees for those five months total a shocking £864,909,55 and this does not include the wages of the newly formed “Status dog unit”.

Its time to face facts. BSL has failed. It does not work and will never work. It’s a welfare disaster, a financial burden and doing nothing to safe guard the public.

End BSL NOW. Before your dog makes up a statistic.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. DAMN IT! I hate hearing stories like this. When will humans realize it is not the breed but the owner that makes a dog unsociable!

  3. John in London1 October 2009 12:29

    Hang on! If 332 of those dogs were seized for being a dangerous type but only 17 of those were actually charged with behaving dangerously then 315 - that's 95% - were seized while behaving perfectly safely and under control.

    Nearly a million pounds has been spent seizing safe, under control dogs - is that supposed to make me feel safer?