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Joy for owners as DDA dog is returned
However, Metropolitan Police admit holding 119 dogs

A NORTH London Police station was recently the scene for an emotional reunion between dog owners Ana Quesada and Neil Macey, who were reunited with their pet dog Coco after he had been incarcerated under the Dangerous Dogs Act for over two months.

CocoCoco, a six-year old family pet, had been seized under the DDA and held as a suspected unregistered pit bull ‘type’. Coco was later breed identified by the Metropolitan Police and her case was put before Thames Magistrates Court under section 4b of the Act. Following a brief hearing the court decided that Coco did not represent a danger to the public and ordered she be registered onto the Index of Exempted Dogs and allowed home.

Coco was seized on the 11th February 2008 from her owner; Ana had taken Coco by train to Hampstead Heath for a walk, both were on their way home after an enjoyable day out. Local police were carrying out an anti-knife operation at the London train station with a temporary metal detector set up, as Ana walked through the barriers she was called back by a Police dog handler who was part of the operation. He questioned what type of dog Coco was, Ana became upset as she didn’t understand what was going on and telephoned her partner Neil who arrived at the train station. The police officer told the couple that Coco was a ‘lovely dog’ but that she may be a prohibited type and that a court would have to decide her fate.

A few days later they contacted the anti-DDA groups Endangered Dogs Defence & Rescue and Deed Not Breed who both gave assistance and support.

It would be an emotional sixty three days before they would be back together and tears all round, yet again, on April 14th as another London DDA dog was returned home. Coco came home with some scarring on her muzzle, her owners received no ‘aftercare’ sheet and they have subsequently asked police to provide them with her health records.

In February this year, information reluctantly provided by the Metropolitan Police Service in reply to a Freedom of Information request, stated that the Met. Police were holding 119 dogs under Section One of the DDA.