Friday, 2 November 2007

Two Poodle Martyr latest...

If you're new to this story click here for the story so far....

Here's the latest email from Jill, "I am trying to type this, but my hands are shaking, so I will try and get it right.
"We have not heard from Legal Aid yet. So when Peter turned up in court today, the bulldog [their solicitor] had faxed to ask for it to be put off, explaining that the legal aid had not yet been agreed, but the court didn't accept that, and forced Peter into making a plea, using the court solicitor. He obviously said 'Not Guilty'!
"The prosecuting solicitor was making the case, and it appeared to Peter that the only evidence they are going on is their "doggie id parade".
"Oh God, this really has gone beyond a joke now. If it wasn't for my babies, friends and family, I don't know how I would go on. The next court date is 3rd Dec, and the actual trial is set for 10/11th January 2008, so it drags on into next year.
"The case has been classified as one that carries a penalty of a maximum of £1,000 - obviously plus our solicitor's costs. If we lose this case then it goes to Civil Court, where the farmer can take us to the cleaners. Mind you, I don't know what he expects us to come up with when we have nothing to start with.
"On the good side, Jenni and Minki are settling in at home again. Minki is occasionally playing with the puppies, which is lovely to see, but Jenni is still very clingy and tends to isolate herself. I spent a lot of last night wandering around the house, as I couldn't sleep, with all the dogs following me. They are such great company, and just enforce the feeling that what the Police did to Jenni and Minki was so wrong."

I don't know about you, but this just all seems so dreadfully wrong. If the only thing the Prosecution has to link these two Poodles with the sheep is a doggie ID parade then I'm amazed it has got this far.
Judge John Deed would have had none of it. It's like doing an ID parade for humans and putting the two Chinese male suspects (which have been mentioned in press reports) in a line up of Aborigine women, Pakistani children, and assorted red-haired midgets and giants! It would hardly be surprising that the police got the right result! There are rules for human ID parades - people have to be of similar race, age and build. The doggie ID parade made up of collies, police dogs and pointers has to be seen by any sensible person as flawed!
And as the local press had already reported that two Poodles had worried sheep - putting the two Poodles in the same kennel and having all the others in single kennels would seem to have compromised the process from the outset!

Poor Jill and Peter - having this hanging over their heads all over Christmas. Peter is self-employed so proving income (or lack of it!) for legal aid is not straight forward.

They need legal support - I don't think they should go back in without proper representation. The cost prediction for their legal fees is £26k. If they lose and go to civil court the costs will spiral and they could face up to £60k in compensation and £8k in kenneling fees.

I feel helpless. What can we do to help them? I've already asked everyone to write to the charities to see if they'll help. Suggestions please! One of our rank is facing ruin - just because a herd of cows decided to get frisky and knock down their fence. Never have two dogs escaping got their owners into so much trouble.


Chapstaff said...

Poor Jill & Peter, it sounds like Jill is right at the end of her tether.

This farmer who is taking them to court....was it his cattle that caused the criminal damage to the fence, making it insecure in the first place??? You see where I'm coming from.

I had a reply from the RSPCA. They said they are aware of this case, but can't get involved in any way. The answer I expected really.

Heard nothing, surprisingly, from Dogs Trust.

Flowerpot said...

This is so frustrating. I do feel for poor Jill and Peter so much, it must be a terrible situation. Would any of the nationals be interested in it - or local TV?

Beverley Cuddy said...

A TV company are filming this - but it s due to be aired on December 5th. But they are just making a documentary about unjustice rather than trying to put this right.

I guess it will reveal how little the charities did to help, I just can't see why Dogs Trust helped the people with Pit Bulls in Merseyside and not these guys who seem equally innocent! Why help one lot of dog owners facing injustice and not another?

Will the presence of the media - even though passively suddenly make some organisation take this seriously.

The show is airing on Virgin 1 - the new sat channel that is getting huge ratings thanks to the Riches with Eddie Izzard and all their comedy output. I suspect this documentary highlighting lots of canine injustice will get good ratings. Maybe it will be in time for someone to come to Jill and Peter's aid - but remember this story broke in late June and we've been trying to get someone to help them ever since then! It's a long time to be in the wilderness facing this alone.

Jill said she felt like a leper when she first asked for the charities to help her!

Anonymous said...

Dogs Trust... remind me how much they fronted up for the merseyside dogs?

DNB have funded several 'goes' in court with Trevor Cooper/his associate but certainly got nothing from Dogs Trust..

Unfortunatly the DNB coffers are pretty much empty purely because they have paid for so many hours of professional time in court.

Beverley Cuddy said...

Interesting last comment! So are you saying Dogs Trust contributed nothing to the Merseyside Pit Bull Case, too? In all the TV coverage of the case they appeared pretty central.
How galling for DNB (Deed not Breed) to actually be the real, practical supporters of the underdogs - but for Dogs Trust with some well timed talking heads - to appear to be the good guys!
I have to say I do worry that it appears to be that only when the massive media are looking that these institutions actually start appearing to care.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know what the Dogs Trust did - I know they appeared on TV a number of times stating that they are against BSL, and theres no denying that a big name organisation like that doing so is good.. but..

The dogs waiting their fate in kennels that dont meet the relevant criteria, suffering from kennel stress, injuries, severe weight loss, parvovirus.. those dogs needed money for court and a lot of it came from DNB (and im in no way saying that money didnt come from other sources as well, of course it did).

Did the Dogs Trust pay for any of it though? I am not aware that they did (though if they did, then good for them but as you say.. why them and not the poodles? Maybe media coverage is the answer there!).

What I do know is, DNB paid for several full days in court with either Trevor or I think Pamela Rose??, and have also tried to make sure there is a DNB/BBAS person at each court case to make contact with owners, make sure they have all the paperwork they need, offer much needed support/advice - I dont think there were any Dogs Trust representatives offering that.

A lot has gone on with the 'pitbull crisis' that people are very unaware of. There is certainly one internet forum who up until very recently were stating it was all 'scaremongering'and would never happen!

The RSPCA are less than useless - again as far as I know they are aware of the SERIOUS lack of suitable facilities and the resulting horrific state of dogs coming out of these kennels, and yet have so far failed to do a thing.

At least one dog has died purely due to the way in which dogs are kept, others are coming out in conditions Ive only seen on RSPCA 'we saved this dog' adverts before - I havent yet seen anyone with a big name challenge that one!

Going back to these poor poodles, are Justice for Dogs involved? It does seem to be within their 'remit' although at a guess I expect they are struggling for funds as much as any other small organisation are these days.

As flowerpot said, it is so incredibly frustrating!

Anonymous said...

The worlds gone mad!