TWENTY DOGS of the so-called pit bull ‘type’ seized in the recent Merseyside Amnesty were being tried under the DDA at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court this week.
The dogs’ owners have been charged with owning unregistered, illegal dogs ‘of the type’ under Section One of the DDA and face the possible destruction of their dogs if they are found guilty. This is the second wave of prosecutions of dogs seized or surrendered under the controversial Amnesty and it is expected that chaotic scenes would ensue.
The situation will be compounded if, as on the first court hearing day in February, all twenty dogs are tried at once. It is expected that the hearing will continue into the early part of next week.
The Fury Defence Fund, which assists owners caught up under the DDA and the new anti-BSL group Deed Not Breed have both attempted to contact as many owners as possible to advise them of how to defend their case, but with limited success.
"It’s been very difficult," said Mel Page, Chair of Deed Not Breed. "We’ve taken out adverts in the Liverpool newspapers, we’ve made appeals on Merseyside radio and we’ve posted bulletins on the Internet, but so far only a handful of owners have come forward.’
Juliette Glass of the FDF told OUR DOGS: ‘I’ve spoken to a few people, and left messages for several others to contact me, but hardly any of the calls have been returned. We’re doing our best to help people – to help their dogs – but if they won’t respond, it’s hard to do so.’
The dogs will be defended in court by well-known solicitor Trevor Cooper, who has defended many DDA cases in the past.