Friday, 29 January 2010

DDAWatch - What have we been doing? January 2010

With 2010 set to be one of the busiest years in recent times  in the fight against BSL we have decided to try and keep everyone up to date with what we have been doing at the end of each month. this is your first instalment outlining January 2010.

As a reminder, DDAWatch is run by four individual volunteers. All costs are covered by those volunteers. Each volunteer also has "real life" commitments and families of their own. Each volunteer is also involved in rescue and has several dogs of their own.  Alongside these commitments, in January 2010 DDawatch breakdown is as follows:

Total number of dogs assisted: 35

Full breakdown:

18 dogs are currently being held in secure kennels as alledged "pit bull types" as the case is still ongoing.

A further 11 dogs cases were finalised this month with the following outcomes:

3 dogs were found to be not type and ordered home.

8 dogs were found "guilty" of being a banned breed but ALL allowed onto the Index of Exempted Dogs.

3 dogs were left at home to be properly ided. One is waiting to be seen while the other two were both deemed not type and no further action taken.

2 dogs cases ongoing under other legislation.

In addition DDAWatch alongside One Life Rescue have agreed to take a further dog into our care for rehoming.

None of the dogs we have assisted in January have lost their lives.

This month we have also taken part in The big Issues Big Debate explaining why the DDA should not be extended and have requested information from several police forces and councils regarding enforcement of the DDA in a number of areas. We hope to pass that information on as it comes in! We have also dealt with a large number of email and telephone enquiries (too many to count sorry!) and started a second Facebook Group Responsible dog owners against media spin to tackle the medias consistant demonising of certain breed and types.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support, in particular to those who have joined our DDAWatch Facebook Group . We hope we can continue to count on your support throughout 2010!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

"Rottweilers are borderline aggressive" says Deputy Leader Harrow Council

""Rottweilers are borderline aggressive" says Deputy Leader Harrow Council, Susan Hall as Harrow council push forward to target certain breeds of dogs in their properties.

Ms Halls incorrect assumption  was published The Times on 14th January and has only just come to my attention.  The topic to which Ms Hall took part was "Should councils ban dangerous dogs?" Ms Hall stated "yes" Fair enough question and answer  if they actually meant "dangerous dogs" but they dont. They mean they intend to go after certain breeds, you know the usual suspects rather than actually tackle the issue of actual dangerous dogs. Ms Hall doesnt even attempt to deny this as she says

"This is not about spaniels and labradors. "

Why ? Spaniels and Labradors are  capable of being dangerous and of causing fatalities.  A lab puppy was recently partly responsible for the death of a baby in america. Yet I guess in the current climate its the trendy thing to do to ignore that and worry about the current victim of choice.

Ms Hall also states

"We are not talking about “man’s best friend” here. We’re talking about the shadowy culture of weapon dogs. These animals are being bred by antisocial people to be vicious instruments of violence and intimidation."

and then contradicts herself by saying

"They can turn on the family — often the owners do not realise the dangers. "

This makes no sense if as Ms hall previously stated they are going after dogs owned by people who want aggressive dogs . Owners who want to own a dog to intimdate or hurt someone clearly knows the dog is able to hurt as this is the very animal they have created. Any dog can "turn" on family, even your spainel and labrador.

Ms Hall also makes a startling claim. She says

 "We will be asking RSPCA experts to assess the dogs and, if tenants insist on keeping them, they will not be allowed to live in council housing. "

I shall be contacting the RSPCA directly to find out if this is the case and why they are involving themselves in Breed Specific targetting. I shall be very interested in tehir response especially as they felt unable to help this lady claiming that it was not a welfare issue.

Finally Ms Hall says:

The ban is not a kneejerk reaction. We have been looking at these proposals for about six months.

Wow. Six months huh? This country has taken many many years to get into the mess its in now. Its going to take a lot more that "looking at proposals for six months" to sort this problem out and Harrow councils ban will simply encourage people to give up their animals for destruction while doing nothing to promote responsible ownership.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Rescuing the Rescuers update - Rocky to go home!

Many of our  supporters will remember the story of Rocky, a young x breed who was seized from charity, Animals In Need (AIN) rescue center  13 months ago. Rockys crime was that he appeared to the authorities to have substantial characteristics of a pit bull type. Rocky had not hurt anyone nor shown any aggression .

Fran Ellis, founder of Animals in Need, was charged under section one of the Dangerous Dogs Act and Rocky was taken  from the rescue kennels to police appointed kennels. For the next 13 months Rocky was held at tax payers expense while AIN prepared to fight for his life. Yesterday ( Tuesday 19th January) Rockys case was heard. The Defence argued that Rocky was not a banned breed but lost and Rocky was deemed a banned breed. However the Judge felt that Rocky posed no danger and has allowed him to go home as a registered pit bull type.

13 months incarcerated, hundreds possibly thousands of tax payers money, time and heartache for all the rescuers hoping to save rockys life...all for a dog who never hurt anyone.

Rocky will now have to live his life out wearing a muzzle and being kept onlead in public but he WILL live. Maybe in his lifetime this ineffective, costly piece of legislation will be repealed and Rocky will finally be allowed to  run free again.

Below are details on how you can support Animals in Need to cover legal fees to protect dogs like Rocky. If you can help support them, no matter how little please see below:

you can donate via Paypal by sending to

Or via cheque made payable to


Fir Tree Animal Sanctuary,

Spurriers Lane,



L31 1BA

Thank you all SO much and WELCOME HOME ROCKY!

DDAWatch Take Part In The Big Issues Big Debate On Dangerous Dogs

The Big Debate in this weeks edidtion of The Big issue asks the question "Should the Dangerous Dogs Act be tightened even further to deal with the problem of aggressive "status dogs"? Alison Green of DDAWatch was asked to take part and explain why the law needs changing and not strengthening. Colin Eldridge, Liberal Democrat prospective parlimentary candidate for Wavertree, Liverpool also took part to give his views.

Did they agree and do you agree with either of them?! find out more by buying this weeks edition of The Big Issue from your local vendor!