Monday, 25 June 2007

Poodles - more dangerous than terrorists?

Unbelievably, the two pet Standard Poodles mentioned in my last post are still being held by the police. It's nearly a month since they were seized and sadly there's been no news on their current health and welfare due to "police staff shortages".

Owner Jill is near despair and on her third lawyer. None seem to have grasped the injustice of two dogs being detained in a very irregular fashion without anything other than purely circumstantial evidence to link them to any 'crime'.

And how exactly do these dogs pose a threat to society? And that's a society that isn't locking up even the most dangerous of human criminals because of overcrowding!

Terrorist suspects have been trusted to walk the streets - but two Poodles in Sussex are much more of a threat to our national security!

The two Poodles escaped from their garden after some naughty cows broke down their garden fence. The fence is now repaired and is standing 7 feet high - with electric fencing facing the cows to stop them repeating the offence (!)

Why can't the dogs now come home? And did the police take the cows in for questioning? Surely if we’ve going to start charging escaped dogs with offences shouldn’t we also start considering rampant cows as criminals? Why haven't they appeared on Crimewatch?

Perhaps the cows have got better lawyers.

The police say the dogs are being held as evidence - just as they would seize a knife or a crow bar.

I have to say you really couldn't make this up! Didn’t someone once hang a monkey as a traitor? I thought we’d moved on a bit – evolved slightly!

Other odd stories across my desk this week, did you know that the 'free' six weeks of pet insurance you get from the Kennel Club no longer pays out for death by illness!

In August of last year apparently there was a change to the small print, but no one seems to have noticed until now. I've heard from the owner of a puppy that died and had their claim refused. Had he known his cover was so flawed he says he'd have gone straight to full paid for pet insurance as the 'free' version left him completely exposed when he needed insurance most. He’s appealing to the ombudsman – but be warned. Apparently the PetPlan free 6 weeks from breeders still covers death by illness.

If you have any other stories to share please email me -

It's raining here again. Oscar, my very pale brown Beardie looks like he’s wearing little black wellies.

What do you think of the new Dial-a-dog website?

If you are a good breeder who does all the tests please do claim your free adverts, as a special thank you we'll be giving you some free mags to give to your new puppy owners.

Thank you to everyone who sent cards, I’m starting to feel much better thank you.

More soon

Friday, 8 June 2007

Guilty until proven innocent

A few days ago a reader forwarded me a shocking story.
A lady called Jill lost two of her four Standard Poodles and was worried sick. She was out till 1am searching for them.

The next morning she started looking again at 5am, but a couple of hours later the dogs returned home under their own steam - very tired and wet but otherwise unscathed.

Now that should be a happy ending.

A few hours later the police turned up and arrested her partner and seized the two dogs. Jill's partner was taken down the station given a DNA test, was fingerprinted - the works. The police originally cited the Dangerous Dogs Act on the doorstep. Some sheep had been worried overnight and while no one had actually identified the culprit – the Poodles were prime suspects.

The dogs didn't seem to have any blood on them or wool in their teeth. It was a complete shock to the owners to have them accused of sheep worrying.

The charge was later changed from the DDA to the Livestock Act - which is apparently a civil offence and not a criminal one.

So why then was the owner arrested? The Livestock Act – I was told – has no power of arrest. Plus the top dog law specialist (Trevor Cooper) told Jill that Livestock has no provision for the police to take the dogs away.

The police say they are doing forensic tests on the dogs. After talking to Trevor, Jill has asked the police to give the dogs back - but has so far had no joy.

Jill has asked for help from all the big animal charities, but she says she now feels like a leper, none have come to her aid.

I have tried to assist all I can but I am now scratching my head.

What a nightmare – it’s bad enough to lose a beloved dog. I’ve walked the streets for days searching for one of mine and I remember when I finally found her – one of the happiest days of my life.

But imagine after getting your dog back you find yourself criminalized. Your poor dogs are taken away to a secret location. There are no visiting rights. You can’t sleep for worrying. Could they face the death sentence? Will you ever see them again?

Jill found herself with nowhere to turn for help.

Remember – at the moment no one has linked these dogs to the sheep. The only witness said she saw a brown dog in with the sheep – but she was looking through a rhododendron bush in poor weather so couldn’t be sure. There are lots of other brown dogs – would the police do an ID parade? And now the local paper has already put out a story naming the Poodles as sheep worriers – what chance do they have of a fair trial?

If anyone has any ideas of what to do next I’ll pass them on to Jill.

Paris Hilton only got to spend a couple of nights in jail – these poor Poodles have already served a very much longer sentence and one of those has a dietary intolerance – prison food is not going to agree with her. Amnesty international should have a canine division. Poor old dogs. Guilty until proven innocent, capital punishment - Britain a nation of dog lovers – I don’t think so.

Sorry it’s such a serious first blog – but these poor oppressed Poodles desperately need our help!

Beverley Cuddy, Editor, Dogs Today