Monday, 4 October 2010

Tootsie escaped "pit bull" found - and shes not illegal after all!!!

A Hertfordshire family have had their family pet returned despite all odds. Pet dog Tootsie hit the headlines in August this year after she was seized by Herts police who believed her to be a banned “pit bull type” and whisked her away to secret kennels. Once there Tootsie took matters into her own hands and apparently scaled a six foot fence and made her own bid for freedom.

Tootsies owners, Mikala Couthard and and Neil Carrington heard of Tootsies escape hours later and frantically searched for help via anti BSL organisation DDAWatch. DDA Watch, volunteers and Tootsies family searched the area Tootsie was thought to be in to no avail and as the weeks passed it was thought Tootsie was gone for good.

However on Sunday 3rd October almost two months after Tootsies great escape Alison Green, founder of DDA Watch recieved a message from Christie Lloyd from an organisation that helps reunite lost dogs. The message said “I spotted this earlier and thought you may want to follow it up” and included a link to a dog up for rehoming in Battersea Dogs home...a dog that looked just like Tootsie!

A call to Tootsies owners was made and Mikala and Neil met up with Alison at Battersea on Monday 4th October .

The next step was the hardest. Even if it was her would they get her back? She was still part of a police case.
Once the forms had been filled in Neil was allowed to go and view "sasha" the dog thought to be Tootsie while Alison and Mikala waited. As Neil returned there was no need to ask if it was her...his grin said it all. As Tootsie had been in Battersea she had been officially breed identified by the Met police and determined NOT to be a banned type.

 DDA Watch had agreed to pay the release fee and to pay for microchipping but now the ok was needed from both Herts police and the Metropolitan police for staff at Battersea to release Tootsie who was still part of an open case. Tina Hay of Wheldon Law contacted Herts police while Battersea staff contacted the Met police. After an anxious wait everything linked together and Tootsie was a free dog!

Alison Green says

"Tootsie had been missing for so long everyone was sure she had gone for good. If Christie hadn't spotted her and sent that message she would almost certainly still be missing. Battersea staff kindly waived the release fee, chipped Tootsie and provided a collar for her and we are grateful to them for their kindness on the day. Tootsie herself was somewhat shellshocked and has lost a lot of weight. She also has a lump on her shoulder that needs looking into but otherwise is in good health. "

Mikala Couthard insists the law must now be changed to avoid more heartbreak. She said

"The whole situation is surreal. Tootsie was never dangerous, had never shown any aggression and staff at the dogs home said she was a fantastic dog who was a great all rounder. Yet this whole situation came about because of our "dangerous dog" legislation. Had Tootsie been a little taller or heavier she may have been deemed illegal despite being a fantastic dog. We need this law to change and change now to deal with owners who allow their dogs to be dangerous rather than dogs that look a certain way.

We are eternally grateful too Christie, DDA Watch and Tina Hay. Without each of them we may never have seen Tootsie again."