|Bungle the Chow released after ‘lock up’
A Chow Chow puppy found itself on the front page of the national press last week after it bit a policeman and was locked up, potentially for months, before being released back to its family.
The saga of the puppy Bungle was played out on social media and was featured on the front page of The Sun newspaper last Thursday.
Bungle is owned by millionaire bankers David and Susan Hayes and on Saturday 17 November he followed Susan's car out of the house and through their automatic gates before they could close.
He wandered around and was found hiding under a lorry. Before David was able to rescue Bungle he had been taken away by the authorities.
A police officer and a dog warden tried to apprehend the puppy and in the process he bit the police officer twice.
This took place in Stoke Bruene, Towcester and on Thursday the 22 November Northamptonshire Police's Chief Inspector James Willis said, 'A Chow dog was seized by Northamptonshire Police under section 5(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, after a police officer was bitten on Friday, November 17, in Stoke Bruene, near Towcester.
'The police officer was on route to another appointment when he became aware of a traffic hold up caused by a dog being loose in the road and potentially endangering road users. The officer went to assist and while trying to catch the dog, he was bitten on the hand and arm. The officer was not seriously hurt but attended hospital for precautionary checks, antibiotics and tetanus vaccination.
'Public safety is the priority concern in such situations and as the owner was not present and there was continued risk, both to the safety of the dog and members of the public who were present at the time, the dog was seized under S5 (1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 - giving police powers where a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place and having caused injury to a person.
'An officer from the East Midlands Operational Support Service attended and seized the dog which is currently being looked after in secure kennels. It will remain under the care of the Force's Dog Legislation Officer while the full circumstances of the incident are investigated.
'The Dog Legislation Officer is liaising with the dog's owner while the investigation takes place and any aggravated offences under S3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 are explored.'
The Hayes family were 'devastated' that their puppy had been taken away from them and they were told that he could be kept in police kennels for up to nine months.
They started a social media campaign to campaign for Bungle's release. A page was set up on Facebook called 'Bungle the Chow' which in no time had over 6,000 members.
The national press got hold of the story and Bungle found his way into the The Sun, The Mirror, The Daily Mail and other national newspapers.
A campaign was launched by The Sun to free Bungle and on Thursday evening the dog was returned and the Hayes family posted on the Bungle the Chow page, 'Bungle is home...hooray!
'We were amazed that by this morning this had all led to national media coverage, including a campaign by The Sun to free him, which even involved getting "Zippy and George" on the case we understand!
'We were particularly upset that during his capture a police officer was injured while on duty, we would like to thank him for his efforts to make Bungle safe and apologise again for any pain suffered in that process.'
Chief Superintendent Chris Hillery, said, 'We understand that the actions taken on this occasion have generated significant public opinion on the proportionality of the officer's actions.
'To be absolutely clear I fully support the officers' actions in this case, the dog was unattended in a live carriageway and was aggressive to those present resulting in the officer being bitten and receiving injuries that required hospital attention.
'The potential risk posed by the dog at that time is not diminished by its age or that it was frightened.
'Having already bitten the officer twice, causing puncture wounds and bruising, it would have been negligent to release a dog displaying such obvious aggression, regardless of the cause, without first ensuring both the dog's and the wider publics' safety.
'I fully support the decision of the officer at the time and the risk assessment process that has followed the seizure and subsequent return of the dog.
'In no way was this decision impacted by the media reporting. Having gone through a proportionate investigation and risk assessment, the dog has been returned with appropriate conditions to manage any future risk.'