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(Updated 19/8/01)

Titan Tragedy
by Nick Mays

A THREE-year old Bull Mastiff named Titan found himself in custody after an altercation in which a Terrier died.

Titan, owned by Josephine Hunt of London, NW1 was apparently being walked by a neighbour one morning in February of this year in a local park. The neighbour tripped up and Titan made off, immediately becoming involved in a fight with two small Terriers and a mongrel dog. There had been a history of bad feeling between the dogs, as the three smaller dogs allegedly always went for Titan as he was being walked. By the time the neighbour arrived to grab Titan, tragically one of the Terriers was dead.

The police were called and arrived at the scene.

Ms Hunt herself arrived at the park and took Titan home, but later received a visit from officers of the Metropolitan Police Dog Section, who took Titan into custody.

Ms Hunt alleged that she was told little or nothing about what charges were to be brought against her or of her dog' welfare. She sought the help of the Fury Defence Fund who arranged legal help for her via well-known dog law solicitor Trevor Cooper.

Subdued

After four months in custody, Titan was returned by PC Terry Fields of the Dog Section and Ms Hunt was charged under the 1871 Dogs Act. Ms Hunt said that Titan was very subdued for some time after his release and alleged that there were marks on his body which had not been there before his seizure.

The case was eventually heard at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court in July, where magistrates, having heard all the evidence of the incident, imposed a Control Order upon Titan, with the following stipulations: That he be muzzled at all times in a public place, that he be held on a lead at all times in a public place and that he should not be walked by anyone under the age of 16 years.