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.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

NDWA Seminar and AGM 2009

This years National Dog Warden Associations (NDWA) seminar and AGM are promising to be two days of lively debate focusing on many aspects of dog handling and canine legislation.

The seminar, to be held on October 22nd and 23rd, is to be held in Birmingham and open to anyone with an interest in issues raised. Speakers on the first day will include Alison Green from DDAWatch discussing U.K BSL, Pete Tallack, Advisor to the ACPO who will be giving an update on the Guide to Enforcers and "dangerous dogs".

Bill Lambert from the Kennel Club will be updating their position on how they intend to improve breed standards and Ryan O'meara from K9 magazine will be discussing "Canine Misunderstanding".

Day Two will see DEFRA update on Animal Welfare policy and the RSPCA Prosecutions team discuss enforcement ofthe Animal Welfare Act.

For a full list of speakers and to book your place please see http://www.ndwa.co.uk/ndwa-agmseminar.asp

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

DDAWatch Website goes LIVE!

DDAWatch set up as an inititive of the Pet Owners Parliament and over the last 18 months has gone from strength to strength. With a huge increase in supporters, calls to assist owners and legal representitives we decided it was time to launch our own website.

The site will cover as many aspects of canine legislation as possible plus showing how you can help ensure fair effective laws and see an end to draconian legislation.

Today we are proud to officially "launch" the new website and its forum. Please join us at:

http://www.ddawatch.co.uk/

If you have any thoughts or suggestions please use the details on the contact us page http://www.ddawatch.co.uk/contact_us.html we would love to hear from you!

The website is still being updated so do keep checking back for updates.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

One Inch

The following poem was written to illustrate to madness of the DDA effecting Staffordshire bull terriers.

One inch

Whelped by the same mother
Owned by, 'BOTH' you and me
One lived life in darkness
Whilst the other roamed free

One felt the heat of the sun
Upon his strong back
The other bore the burden
Of the penitents sack

They were both raised the same
With understanding and love
As they matured'
The Difference' cropped up

What was this 'Difference'
Turned rabid? Gone wild?
NOHe was an inch taller
From our world he must hide

One inch causes meaness?
Drives his canine hate?
PLEASE!!!! Stop all this madness
Before it's to late

Although just a poem
This tale did occur
For the SIN of one inch
His brave heart beats no more

Patiently laying
Beside stream and bridge
Searching for answers
As to why, 'He NO LONGER LIVES'

Poem by Housedog .

Monday, 7 September 2009

Rescuing the Rescuers.

Animals in Need are a rescue organisation offering sanctuary to many abandoned animals each year. A registered charity, they have operated in Liverpool U.K for 18 years. Now the rescuers need rescuing.

With a strict spay/neuter policy for all their own animals they also spend a great deal of time and finance working with dogs and their owners within the community offering free neutering, chipping and training to those in need. As a result they have prevented the birth of hundred or even thousands of unwanted dogs.

During the "pit bull amnesty" of 2007 they offered free help and advice to owners caught up in the Dangerous Dogs Act ( DDA) 1991. To this day they still do all the above.However at the end of 2007 the DDA turned to the rescuers as two of their dogs were accused of being pit bull type. Then, in January 2008 a young dog was left abandoned and, being a law abiding rescue they notified the authorities.

Animals In Need were then taken to court under 4b of the DDA for three counts of possessing a banned breed. The rescue refused to accept the first two dogs were "of type" and funded a legal team and experts to defend the dogs. They won and both dogs were deemed to be legal cross breeds and rehomed. The rescue agreed with the authorities on the type of the third dog however having a strict non destruction policy they funded experts and a legal team to ask the courts to register the dog to Animals In Need. This was allowed and the dogs life was spared. She will live out her life under the care of Animals in Need who are the ONLY rescue within the UK to currently own an exempted dog.

However the nightmare was not over and at the end of 2008 the DDA struck again and a further dog was accused of being a banned breed. Unlike the previous three dogs this one was seized and removed to secure kennels pending court proceedings. Animals in Need founder, Fran Ellis is now facing another charge of possessing an illegal breed and with penalties that could include up to 6 months in prison, a £5000 fine and a criminal record.

Animals in Need are a fantastic rescue who never put a healthy dog down. The DDA is costing them financially and mentally and they still support their dogs 100%. Now they need your help.

We shall be adding details of how you can support Animals in need financially and help ease the burden of funding yet another legal battle to save the life of a dog that has never been nor acted dangerously. Please keep checking back for details.

If you cannot support them financially please take a few moments to sign the petition below and forward to increase awareness and add support to the fantastic staff at Animals In Need.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/rescuing-the-rescuers

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

13 seized at Notting Hill Carnival.

A total of thirteen dogs have been seized as alleged "pit bull types" at this years Notting Hill Carnival, eight dogs less than last year. The Metropolitan police website states the Status Dog unit (SDU) would be working hand in hand with the RSPCA to stop "dangerous dogs" being taken to the event. No arrests were made in relation to the 13 seized dogs. A further 3 dogs were seized under animal welfare.


As no arrests have been made it is reasonable to assume that none of the dogs nor their owners had shown any antisocial behaviour and that the dogs were merely seized due to their physical appearance.

The Met forecast an overspend of 1 million pounds this year, 68.1% of the budget and expect the number of seizures to rise by 66%. Despite bringing in a "leave at home "policy the Met only intend to apply this to 10% of all dogs seized this year and this, combined with the increase in seizures, is causing the length of time a dog spends incarcerated to rise from 111 days last year to 150 days this year. With kenneling costs reaching as much as £22 per dog per day kennelling for these 13 alone could run to as much as £42,900.

With legal breeds and crossbreeds falling foul of the legislation banning breed "types" we will never see "pit bull types" eradicated. The very fact this legislation has been in force for 18 years yet estimates say we now have more banned types than before speaks for itself.

While the issue of "dangerous dogs" is a serious issue the misguided belief that a dog can be dangerous by its appearance alone continues to remove the focus from the real issue at the other end of the lead while wasting taxpayers money and police and animal welfare officers time.

If your dog or the dog of someone you know, has been seized ensure they do not sign their dog over for destruction. DDAWatch offers free confidential help and support to owners and our contact details are below.

To help fight against BSL and put the focus back on irresponsible owners please support DDAWatch http://www.facebook.com/groups.php?ref=sb#/group.php?gid=27193457689

Email DDAWatch : Mail@dangerousdogsact.co.uk
Telephone : 0844 844 2900 (9am - 10pm 7 days a week)
Mobile: 07899 724 800