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Two more Merseyside DDA dogs freed by court

TWO MORE owners of dogs deemed by Merseyside police to be of ‘pit bull type’, appeared before Liverpool magistrates on Thursday last week to fight for their dogs’ lives after they had been seized by police under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

Mrs Frances Daly’s dog Ghengis, had been visited by police in late January just before the so-called ‘amnesty’ - instigated by Merseyside’s Chief Constable Bernard Hogan-Howe - but was not thought to be of pit bull type so was left at the family’s home. Following the advice of the police officers that examined Ghengis, Mrs Daly had had him neutered and microchipped and also muzzled him whenever he was being exercised.

However, in September, Ghengis was seen by a police patrol whilst being walked on his lead and was seized, as they believed he might be of the ‘pit bull type’. Once in kennels he was identified by a police dog ID expert as being of the ‘type’, despite the earlier police rejection of him as such.
Mrs Daly attended the court hearing to ask the magistrates to allow her pet dog to be placed on the Register of Exempted Dogs.

She produced numerous letters from neighbours, friends and relatives supporting her claim that Ghengis did not pose a danger to public safety, along with pictures of her dog taken in his home environment.

The second owner in court was Dane Whittaker whose dog Bronson was seized after an altercation at his front gate with another dog. He also attended the hearing to plead that his dog be allowed to live and be placed on the Register of exempted dogs.

Guy Richardson provided a comprehensive behaviour report, whilst a home assessment was carried out by Fran Ellis founder of the Liverpool-based charity Animals in Need, who took to the stand to make a statement about the security in Bronson’s home.

Mrs Ellis also assisted Mr Whittaker in the collating of numerous statements as to Bronson’s temperament, including one from the owners of the other dog involved in the incident, who clearly stated that at no time did Bronson show any aggression towards them.

They added that they fully supported Mr Whittaker’s request for Bronson to be allowed to be entered onto the register.

Both owners were elated when magistrates allowed both dogs to be placed onto the Register of Exempted Dogs. In Bronson’s case the magistrates stated that the altercation with the other dog that led to his seizure did not in their view constitute Bronson being a danger to public safety, and was purely an accident.

Both owners were assisted both in preparation and in court under the ‘Mackenzie’s Friend’ clause by Melanie Rushmore of The Bull Breed Advisory Service.

A third case that was also due to be heard on the same day was dropped by Merseyside Police as the dog concerned had sadly died on November 8th whilst being held in police appointed kennels. As reported elsewhere this issue, Merseyside Police have ordered that a post mortem be carried out on the four year old bitch called Macey who was owned my Mrs Rita Peyton.