Episode 12 Animal 24:7


Episode 12

A look at the controversial topic of dangerous dogs. The programme is out on patrol with the units cracking down on the owners who use their dogs as status symbols.


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Transcript


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Today, a dangerous dogs special.

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Each week, more than 100 people have to be admitted to hospital

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after being bitten by a dog -

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the human cost behind the controversy of dangerous dogs.

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We're on patrol with the teams searching for suspect breeds.

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You're seizing both of them? You can't seize my dogs for that.

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That's not fair. Look how friendly the dog is.

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'Hugo, a huge Rottweiler, trained to attack the police.'

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We've been told that he's putting nails in a stick

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and hitting the dog to make it angry.

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'And I witness first hand how the dogs can be victims, too.'

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This is a victim. It was attacked by a pit type dog.

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The number of dangerous dogs seized from our streets

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has risen 20-fold in six years.

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It's hard to imagine that increase,

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but that's the scale of the issue the RSPCA and the police are facing,

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as potentially aggressive animals

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are becoming a must-have status symbol.

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But is it the dog or the owner who is to blame?

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Today's programme will investigate.

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First, we're on patrol with a squad set up to crack down on the problem.

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'Newham, east London.

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'Led by Tina Delaney from the council's animal welfare service,

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'this is the dangerous dogs patrol.

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'Their main weapon is the Dangerous Dogs Act,

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'that defines certain breeds, like pit bulls, as high risk.

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'They can only be kept if their owner registers them.

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'Any dog that is not registered is seized.

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'The unit is one of a number of teams monitoring and seizing

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'the capital's ever-growing population of status dogs.

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'Today, they're investigating a complaint that a local garage

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'is using illegal pit bull terriers as guard dogs.'

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This officer's from the Metropolitan Police.

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We've had two complaints regarding you having pit bull terrier types.

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Can you show me where your dogs are?

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'The owner claims he has American bull dogs, not on the banned list.'

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BARKS

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-Easy. Easy.

-And do you have another one?

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-Yeah. I have a pup who's half Staff.

-Can you show me that one?

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'Tina needs to see what his half-Staffordshire bull terrier is crossed with.

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'Cross breeds, if paired with a banned animal,

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'are as likely to be seized as a full breed.

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'The dog is called Honey and greets the team with a wagging tail.'

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She's proper friendly, look.

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Yes, she is nice.

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She's not dangerous to anything.

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'But whether a dog is seized or not

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'is not down to temperament, it's simply down to breed.'

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-What breed do you believe it to be?

-When I obtained this dog,

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the guy said it's got a Shar-Pei in it and a Staff.

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I've only gone by what I've been told.

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I'm going to seize your dog as a pit bull terrier type.

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I'll have the dogs assessed. You may have to think about your security.

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-Which dog?

-I'm seizing both of them.

-Both of them?

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You can't seize my dog. Look how friendly my dog is.

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Once the dogs are seized, they will be independently assessed.

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If they're of type, then we will discuss options with you.

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'The owner is adamant that his dogs are not illegal breeds.'

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If they're not pit bulls, we will bring them back.

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If they are, then there are various options.

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If they're not, you will get them back.

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Look how friendly the dog is.

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She is friendly, but I am concerned that she has pit bull terrier.

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'Further investigation reveals this owner also has another dog,

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'being kept in poor conditions.

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'All three are seized. They will be taken to an independent assessor.

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'If any are found to be pit bull type and the owner wants them back,

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'he'll have to apply for a licence from the courts.

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'First, he would have to prove that he can look after them responsibly.

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'Across the capital, in northwest London, another dangerous dogs team is on patrol.

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'The Barnet Action for Responsible Canines, or BARC,

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'was launched in January 2007.

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'It's a partnership between the council, the Met Police,

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'Mayhew Animal Home and the RSPCA.

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'Today, they're investigating complaints that a possible pit bull

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'called Kizzy, is being allowed to run freely around a block of flats,

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'terrorising the residents.'

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Hello, Jackie. Can you stick him in the kitchen?

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'Sergeant Roger Mitham explains why the team is here.'

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We fears that Kizzy might be prohibited type, a Section 1 dog.

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There's conditions about having a Section 1 dog.

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You don't want to be out in the street with Kizzy,

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-and you're doing it unlawfully...

-WOMAN: Exactly.

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'Kizzy is quickly identified as pit bull type and will be seized.'

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We don't want the dog to bite somebody and you don't get it back.

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'Her owner is devastated.'

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This is the way to keep the dog.

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There are lots of conditions that you'll have to comply with.

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'Roger Mitham is happy with the way Kizzy's being cared for.

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'This makes a huge difference to her future.'

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I'm reasonably happy that this lady is a responsible owner.

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The dog isn't going to be misused.

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There is an opportunity for the dog to be taken, be registered,

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and the dog returned to her, pending the court's approval,

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which she is quite keen to follow through with, as well.

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'If this owner goes to court,

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'she will have to have Kizzy microchipped, tattooed

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'and ensure she always wears a muzzle in public.

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'Only then will she be allowed home.

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'Earlier, we saw three suspected pit bulls, Sugar, Honey and Ty,

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'being seized from a garage in east London.

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'They've been brought to a secret location

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'to be assessed by a specialist vet qualified to identify banned breeds.

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'The nature of her work means her identity must be protected.'

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She was in a stable without any water, in quite a lot of faeces.

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'She quickly confirms Sugar and Honey are, in fact, pit bulls.

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'Next, it's Ty's turn.'

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WOMAN: He's got a sort of bulldog head.

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He's a guard dog. Any guard dog is potentially dangerous.

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You want a tickle?

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'This dog seems to be a big softie, but is he a pit bull?'

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WOMAN LAUGHS

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He doesn't conform so he will be going back. The two girls do, so they won't be going back.

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We'll deliver him back today and the two bitches will stay for a while.

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'Ty can now go home.

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'And the team breaks the news to his owner

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'that the female dogs won't be coming back, at least, for now.'

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The bitches have been assessed. They are pit bull terrier types.

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-"Type"? Are they, though?

-Yes. They conform.

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That's news to me.

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As far as I was concerned, king staff.

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King staff, Irish staff, long-legged staff are all slang for pit bull.

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Obviously, you've not known that.

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If you come in, we'll look at what happens from there.

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-Thank you for being so cooperative.

-That's fine.

-Cheers.

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'The owner has two options.

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'He can choose to register his dogs.

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'Or he can choose to do nothing, and his dogs will be put to sleep.

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'Their future lies in his hands.

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-'Later...'

-We're going to seize your dog.

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MAN: No, man. Don't take my dog!

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What are you taking my dog for, man?

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'..And the dog left to suffer after a brutal attack.'

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They go for the neck.

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He had him for a quarter of an hour,

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and got it off by hitting the pit type dog with a truncheon.

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Amazingly, in Britain today,

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a pit bull can be bought for as little as a mobile phone.

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This may go some way to explain why the number being seized

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has increased at such a rate.

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They're not the only breed classed as dangerous.

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Any dog can be a threat to the public, as this story shows.

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'Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

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'Inspector Dave McAdam has been called to assist the police

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'with a dangerous eviction of some tenants and a dog.

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'It's reported that one of the tenants has trained his Rottweiler dog to attack the police.

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'Dave is working with Sergeant Toby Fawcett-Greaves and PC Rich Siddall.'

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The guy in question was charged, having used the dog,

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set it on our colleagues that tried to arrest him.

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'Dave had complaints that the dog is being abused.

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'The police had similar reports.'

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We've been told that he's been putting nails in a stick

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and hitting the dog to make it angry, goading people with it.

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'Dave has years of experience in dealing with dangerous dogs.

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'He has worked for the RSPCA for 20 years and as a Parachute Regiment dog handler.

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'It's taught him to always be prepared.'

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I have a grasper, which I would use.

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A grasper's simply a pole with a steel wire at the end,

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like a loop you put over the dog's head,

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and you control it from a distance, where it can't bite you - as much.

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It's still a very difficult situation.

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'Evictions are often tense and fractious.

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'With the threat of a dog trained to attack, they can also be dangerous.

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'Dave and the police are going in ahead of the local council,

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'to clear the way and make their visit as safe as possible.

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'Their presence may not be welcome.

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'The dog has been used as a weapon, and it could be again.'

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Hello, mate. Dave McAdam, RSPCA...

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'The dog is locked away. The owner's brother Robert answers the door.'

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The reason why I got called was on a welfare notice.

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-I rang you.

-Someone else phoned saying the dog was getting beat.

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Yeah. That was me.

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'It was, in fact, Robert who called the police.

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'His brother is in prison, leaving him and his girlfriend Tracy to care for the dog.'

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Just so I can see his face. Where are you, big fella?

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'Dave wants to take a closer look.'

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BARKING

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'Behind the door is a frightened and aggressive two-year-old Rottweiler, Hugo.'

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That's smashing, mate. Yeah...

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'Dave believes dogs aren't born dangerous.

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'They're reared to be this way.

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'Robert tells Dave that his brother used violent techniques to train the dog to attack.'

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-What went on with your brother? Did you see him doing it?

-Yeah.

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I used to have to stop it.

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He used to get metal bars, crowbars, just beat it.

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Why was he doing that?

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-WOMAN:

-Because he wanted to stop... BEEP

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'Robert and Tracy confirmed Dave's fears.'

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It is quite a feisty dog.

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'Once they're evicted,

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'Robert and Tracy won't be able to care for Hugo and are seeking help.'

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-Do you want to sign him over to me?

-He won't get put down?

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To be honest, I cannot guarantee it.

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Because I can't rehome a dog if it's going to maim a child.

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'Although Rottweilers aren't banned,

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'this dog is aggressive and is clearly dangerous.

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'Unless a solution is found, Hugo will be destroyed.

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'Dave prepares to remove the dog.'

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-You'll bring him out on a lead?

-Yeah.

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We'll disperse out the way, mate. That's lovely...

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'Following Robert's advice, he decides it might not be safe to use the grasper.

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'Hugo's been trained to attack when he sees a uniform.

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'Dave and the police must back away.'

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We'll stand well back.

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'Now at a safe distance, Hugo can make his entrance.

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'Though not showing signs of aggression, he's clearly a handful.

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'Everyone gives him a wide berth,

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'especially the police.

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'Outside, the sheer power of this dog is clear to see.'

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If you can pop him in, that'll be brilliant.

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'To avoid being bitten...'

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What we'll do, mate. I'll pop that on his head...

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'..Dave uses the grasper to lift Hugo into the van.'

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Good boy.

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'An upsetting situation, but a necessary one.'

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You can see he's a confident big fella, and he's got big teeth.

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So he could do a lot of damage.

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'Although Hugo is clearly not friendly,

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'Dave does want to try and find him a home.

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'He sees if someone would be willing to rehome him as a working dog.'

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Hello, love. It's Dave...

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'But Hugo has previous form for biting.'

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BARKS

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'Will anyone be prepared to take him on?

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'Coming up...'

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It's a big young fit dog and he's a bit... Well, a lot grumbly.

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It might make a good forces' dog.

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'And the dangerous dogs team delivers some vital advice.'

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Now is the time to discourage her from mouthing humans

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and encourage her to mouth something else, like her favourite toys.

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Often, in cases involving dogs which could threaten humans,

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the suffering of the animal itself can be forgotten.

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We saw how Hugo was trained to hate people.

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Not nice for anyone he came across, and a miserable existence for him.

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When dogs are raised to be aggressive, it's a serious problem.

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Here at Harmsworth, David Grant sees those results most days.

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Good morning.

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This is the first of the day.

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This is a victim, a true Staffie.

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It was out this morning, going to the loo,

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and it was attacked by a pit type dog which grabbed it round the neck.

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The owner said, "Get it out the way or my dog will attack it." It did.

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When they attack, they go for the neck.

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He had him for a quarter of an hour

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and got it off by hitting the pit type dog with a truncheon.

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-That's nasty.

-It is quite nasty.

-It's deep.

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All this is very swollen. The dog is very depressed.

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-See how pale it is.

-It's pale from shock and blood loss?

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Not so much blood loss.

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The shock of being held for a quarter of an hour by a nasty dog.

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You can see that dogs can be the innocent victims.

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Mostly they are.

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On many estates, people are in fear of taking their dog out for a walk.

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It happens a lot. We get two or three of these every day.

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This dog has been picked on by a much bigger pit type dog.

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Those dogs are the villains, particularly their owners.

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The aggressive dog can be a victim. They were only trained.

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The dogs are the victims.

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Even the nasty pit type dogs

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are potentially nice dogs in the right hands.

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In the wrong hands, a lethal weapon.

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Most dogs are loved by their owners

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and should inspire affection in people they meet.

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But an increasing number are trained to do the opposite.

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They're reared harshly to be aggressive and feared by outsiders.

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These are "status dogs" and they're such a threat

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the police formed a unit to target them.

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'The status dog unit deals with many breeds of dog, but the majority are pit bulls.

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'I want to find out more about this notorious breed,

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'so I'm meeting the head of the unit, Sgt Ian McParland.'

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BARKING

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-Hello. Who have we got here?

-This is Max.

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He's one of our latest pit bulls to join us.

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Always a bit of trepidation when a pit bull's about to appear. Hello.

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-I can put my hand out?

-You can.

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Stroke him and all those things you do?

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We've handled him and pulled him around to be examined.

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Tell me more about the status dog unit. It's relatively new, isn't it?

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It started in March 2009, and set up because of the increase

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in the number of people using their dogs for anti-social behaviour.

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Do you have any figures about the growth in this problem?

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The number of dogs you're dealing with?

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Between 2002 and 2006, the Met was seizing about 40 dogs a year.

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80% of those were pit bull terriers, used for anti-social purposes.

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That's gone up year on year, until last year

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we seized 719 dogs, and in the first six months of this year, over 600.

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-Over 600 dogs in the first six months?

-In London alone.

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-That's three or four a day.

-Yeah.

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-Now, this is a pit bull, is that right?

-Yeah.

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What are the distinguishing features?

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We use the American Dog Breeders' Association standard.

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Things like looking for a good bend in the dog's back end.

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So if he's having a fight and gets pushed backwards

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he can spring forwards again.

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The whole of the standard is about how this dog can fight another dog.

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-He's pretty strong, giving your arm a work-out!

-You can hold him.

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I'd like to see how strong he is,

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to understand the power.

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There you go!

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The one thing that Max proves is that it's not about the breed

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it's how they were brought up.

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Max is supposedly a dangerous dog,

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-here I am and I'm not feeling that worried about it.

-No.

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-But what you have to remember is...

-I'm off!

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..that they are bred to be dog-aggressive.

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In London, most dogs are attached to a human.

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So even dogs that are human-friendly,

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they'll attack another dog in the park, that someone's holding on to,

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and the person ends up getting injured.

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Once they go through a court process they've always got to be on a leash

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and muzzled when they're in public.

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So that negates a lot of the problems.

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'Max has shown me that some pit bulls

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'don't deserve a bad reputation.

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'They don't always need to be destroyed,

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'if they are treated responsibly.

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'Max is one of the lucky ones.

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'His owner has agreed to all court rules and he will be going home.

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'Later...'

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The dog gets really upset but I can't pat him cos he'd bite you.

0:23:100:23:16

And it's not his fault.

0:23:160:23:18

'The Newham dangerous dogs patrol is responding to a complaint

0:23:260:23:30

'that a resident is allowing his pit bull out in public without a muzzle.

0:23:300:23:36

'This is an offence.'

0:23:360:23:38

The gentleman's just come out of his house.

0:23:380:23:42

-He has a pit bull terrier, which I want to seize now.

-OK.

0:23:420:23:46

'As suspected, he appears to be walking an unmuzzled pit bull.

0:23:460:23:50

'Tina Delaney and her team have no choice but to seize the dog.'

0:23:500:23:55

I'm from Newham Animal Welfare Service.

0:23:570:24:01

I believe that your dog is a pit bull terrier type.

0:24:010:24:05

-This officer is going to take him...

-What do you mean?

0:24:050:24:09

-We're going to seize him.

-You can't take him.

0:24:090:24:12

I'm going to explain what's going to happen.

0:24:120:24:16

No. You can't take him. Let me go home.

0:24:160:24:20

Sir, if you just listen for a moment.

0:24:200:24:23

-Your dog will be assessed.

-No, man. You can't take my dog.

0:24:230:24:28

Once your dog is assessed...

0:24:280:24:31

How come you say that he's half-pit. He's half-Staff.

0:24:310:24:36

Listen to this lady.

0:24:360:24:39

If he is half-pit, you have an illegal dog.

0:24:390:24:43

'The owner's admission confirms Tina's fears.

0:24:430:24:46

'An unregistered pit bull, whether a full breed or crossed,

0:24:460:24:50

'is illegal and must be seized.'

0:24:500:24:53

-Why are you putting this on?

-Leave it, my love.

0:24:530:24:57

'Tequila is no exception.'

0:24:570:25:00

No, you... SOUND DIPPED

0:25:000:25:04

-You can't do this.

-We can do this.

-No, man. You can't take my dog.

0:25:040:25:09

You can't take my dog, man.

0:25:090:25:12

-Listen. It's only for...

-No, man. Don't take my dog!

0:25:120:25:16

What are you taking my dog for, man?

0:25:160:25:19

No, man!

0:25:190:25:21

'The owner is becoming more irate.

0:25:210:25:23

'With police intervention, Tequila is seized.'

0:25:230:25:28

Tequila! Where are you taking my dog?!

0:25:280:25:32

'The fight against Britain's dangerous dogs is never-ending.

0:25:360:25:42

'In north London, the BARC unit is patrolling the streets.

0:25:420:25:46

'PC Simon Underwood spots an old acquaintance

0:25:490:25:54

'walking a suspect-looking dog.'

0:25:540:25:56

Of all the people to have a dog like that!

0:25:560:26:00

Tony!

0:26:000:26:01

-How are you doing?

-All right, mate?

0:26:030:26:05

'Simon is keen to examine the dog, who has quite an unusual name.'

0:26:050:26:11

-Reefer.

-Reeser?

-Reefer!

0:26:110:26:14

Yeah!

0:26:140:26:16

'The team asks Reefer's owners if they know what breed she is.'

0:26:160:26:20

Staff.

0:26:200:26:23

I think she's got something else mixed with her. A mongrel!

0:26:230:26:27

'RSPCA inspector Jan Eachus agrees. Staffies aren't banned breeds.

0:26:270:26:33

'But they can be dangerous and this one is developing some bad habits.'

0:26:330:26:38

It's purely just a bull terrier

0:26:380:26:40

sort of a mix.

0:26:400:26:42

It's four months. It's not going to be very big.

0:26:420:26:46

It's still got a set of teeth.

0:26:460:26:49

When they get older, they start biting down a little harder.

0:26:490:26:53

Then somebody accuses the dog of biting him when the dog was playing.

0:26:530:26:58

'With Reefer showing early signs of potentially aggressive behaviour,

0:26:580:27:04

'Jan can't leave without offering some advice.'

0:27:040:27:07

Now is the time to discourage her from mouthing humans

0:27:070:27:11

and encourage her to mouth something else, like her favourite toys.

0:27:110:27:17

-Then praise her for taking that step.

-OK.

0:27:170:27:19

Thank you. See ya later.

0:27:190:27:22

Thanks a lot.

0:27:220:27:25

'A high-security pound in London.

0:27:280:27:31

DOGS BARK

0:27:310:27:33

'Tequila, the dog seized earlier while being walked by her owner,

0:27:330:27:38

'has just arrived.'

0:27:380:27:40

Hello, darling.

0:27:400:27:42

'If a pit bull status is confirmed,

0:27:420:27:44

'her owner will have to prove he is responsible,

0:27:440:27:49

'otherwise this could be her final home.'

0:27:490:27:52

She's absolutely nice.

0:27:520:27:55

She's a bit worried, but not aggressive. Good girl, aren't you?

0:27:550:28:00

'She joins countless other dogs that are also waiting

0:28:020:28:07

'for their fate to be decided.

0:28:070:28:10

'Last year, the police seized over 700 dangerous dogs in London alone,

0:28:100:28:16

'the majority being of pit bull type.

0:28:160:28:19

'Almost half were destroyed.

0:28:210:28:23

'A couple of pens away from Tequila is a good example

0:28:230:28:27

'of how even friendly pit bulls can be overpowering.'

0:28:270:28:31

She's a lovely pit.

0:28:310:28:33

She uses her mouth a lot, and nips and bites quite a lot.

0:28:330:28:39

That really hurts, when she does that.

0:28:390:28:44

If you encourage this behaviour... you have a dangerous dog

0:28:440:28:51

with power to potentially kill somebody.

0:28:510:28:54

'Next door is Rhino.

0:28:540:28:56

'He was a guard dog. His temperament is very different.'

0:28:560:28:59

-DEEP GROWLING

-See? Like that.

0:29:020:29:05

'Aggressively trained status dogs

0:29:050:29:07

'are fast becoming the weapon of choice for gang members,

0:29:070:29:11

'drug dealers and street thugs.'

0:29:110:29:14

They use them to frighten people.

0:29:140:29:17

They have fights between each other's dogs.

0:29:170:29:20

We have complaints about people intimidating people with their dogs,

0:29:200:29:25

or using their dogs to kill cats.

0:29:250:29:28

It's the dog that suffers because the dog is seized,

0:29:280:29:33

and some of the time they are euthanised and put to sleep.

0:29:330:29:38

It is something that's increasing and it's a problem nationwide.

0:29:380:29:44

WHINES

0:29:440:29:46

'Now, it's Tequila's time to be assessed.'

0:29:480:29:52

20 inches both ways. She's very square.

0:29:520:29:55

'If the experts confirm her as pit bull type,

0:29:550:29:59

'her owner has the opportunity to apply to register her

0:29:590:30:03

'and have her back.'

0:30:030:30:05

Looking for 25% more cheek development.

0:30:050:30:08

'If he doesn't, Tequila will be put to sleep.'

0:30:080:30:12

Looking for a nice scissor bite. Nice teeth.

0:30:120:30:15

'It hasn't gone well.'

0:30:190:30:21

The preliminary assessment confirms she's a pit bull type.

0:30:210:30:26

'Tequila's future now rests with her owner.'

0:30:260:30:29

I'm hoping for a positive outcome. She's a nice dog.

0:30:290:30:33

She doesn't pose a danger. He has eight weeks to comply.

0:30:330:30:38

We're hoping to have her returned within two or three weeks.

0:30:380:30:43

We want her to go back and hopefully there shouldn't be any problems.

0:30:430:30:48

'Still to come...'

0:30:540:30:56

You're coming dangerously close.

0:30:560:31:00

You need to control these dogs, or you're not going to have them.

0:31:000:31:05

Pit bulls cannot be rehomed.

0:31:080:31:11

Sadly, a large number of dogs that are seized are put to sleep

0:31:110:31:15

because their owners choose not to follow the law.

0:31:150:31:20

Any dog classed as dangerous poses the same problems.

0:31:200:31:24

Earlier, RSPCA inspector Dave McAdam seized a large Rottweiler, Hugo.

0:31:240:31:29

Hugo's owner trained him to be aggressive, and it worked.

0:31:290:31:34

Hugo has bitten several people,

0:31:340:31:37

but Dave is not prepared to give up just yet.

0:31:370:31:41

'Inspector Dave McAdam is trying to find someone willing to take Hugo,

0:31:500:31:55

'a potentially aggressive Rottweiler.'

0:31:550:31:58

A difficult circumstance, people can no longer look after a dog.

0:31:580:32:03

Big Rottweiler, about two years old.

0:32:030:32:06

Now, it is aggressive...

0:32:060:32:09

'He's hoping the armed forces may rehome Hugo as a working dog.'

0:32:090:32:15

It's a big young fit dog and he's a bit... Well, a lot grumbly.

0:32:150:32:20

-'The phone call hasn't gone well.'

-Thanks anyway. Bye.

0:32:200:32:25

You've heard that, haven't you? Did you hear what she said?

0:32:250:32:29

Because it's bitten, they don't think they'll take him.

0:32:290:32:33

'With no-one willing to take the dog, Dave has no option.'

0:32:330:32:37

The last thing you want is him to go for a child.

0:32:370:32:40

Potentially, he could kill someone.

0:32:400:32:44

'Hugo will be put to sleep.'

0:32:440:32:46

Do you guys want to think about it and have a chat?

0:32:460:32:50

What can you...? We'll leave you for a couple of minutes.

0:32:500:32:55

'Because Hugo isn't on the dangerous breeds list,

0:32:550:32:59

'Dave can't just seize him.

0:32:590:33:01

'Although having an animal put to sleep is distressing,

0:33:010:33:05

'Robert and Tracy feel they have no choice.'

0:33:050:33:08

You have made a decision which is right for the dog and for people.

0:33:080:33:14

It's not the dog's fault. It's not your fault.

0:33:140:33:17

You've been hugely responsible in a very difficult situation.

0:33:170:33:21

'Tracy and Robert are left to say a final farewell.

0:33:210:33:25

'Dave heads to the Chesterfield Animal Home.

0:33:370:33:41

'High-risk dogs like Hugo have to be put to sleep straight away.'

0:33:410:33:46

Thanks for coming, mate.

0:33:460:33:48

'Inspector Mike Scargill helps Dave in what could be a dangerous job.'

0:33:480:33:53

All right, young chap? Pop your head in there. Good lad. Here we go.

0:33:530:33:58

'So far, Hugo is behaving.'

0:33:580:34:01

Good lad. Good boy.

0:34:010:34:04

'Dave knows this dog's temperament could change at any moment.'

0:34:040:34:10

It's a real sad situation.

0:34:100:34:13

I meet hundreds of fantastic Rottweilers.

0:34:130:34:16

It's not a problem with Rottweilers.

0:34:160:34:19

It's not any dog in particular.

0:34:190:34:22

The problem comes when people do not socialise the dog properly.

0:34:220:34:27

It's the one of most upsetting parts of our job,

0:34:270:34:30

putting down a young healthy dog.

0:34:300:34:33

We know the reasons why, though. It could maim someone.

0:34:330:34:37

OK? Come on, chap.

0:34:370:34:39

-'All of a sudden...'

-SNARLING

0:34:390:34:42

'Hugo shows his true colours.'

0:34:420:34:44

That's why you have to be so careful.

0:34:440:34:47

SNARLING

0:34:470:34:50

'Hugo is stressed and frightened.

0:34:500:34:53

'Mike needs to sedate him before he can be put finally to sleep.'

0:34:530:34:57

The dog gets really upset because, you know, he's a bit stressed.

0:35:030:35:08

You can't pat him cos he'd bite you. That's the worst of it.

0:35:080:35:13

And it's not his fault.

0:35:130:35:15

What a waste of a beautiful dog, a real sad waste.

0:35:180:35:23

Finally on today's programme, we rejoin the dangerous dog patrols.

0:35:320:35:37

Two pit bulls, Tequila and Kizzy, were seized,

0:35:370:35:40

and their owners were left with an important decision -

0:35:400:35:44

whether they would apply to the courts for a licence

0:35:440:35:48

which would allow them to keep their pets.

0:35:480:35:51

We'll catch up with them, but first, there's another call to investigate.

0:35:510:35:56

'On the streets of London, the BARC patrol are responding to another canine complaint.

0:36:020:36:09

'It's reported that two potentially dangerous dogs have attacked a cat

0:36:090:36:14

'and are out of control.

0:36:140:36:17

'The police are spotted and the dogs tethered by their young owners.'

0:36:170:36:23

They've just put them on the lead cos we turned up.

0:36:230:36:27

-Could you bring them in?

-Bring in Xena and Angel.

0:36:270:36:31

'It's clear that Xena and Angel are two Staffordshire bull terriers,

0:36:320:36:38

'a breed not on the dangerous dogs list.

0:36:380:36:43

'But this is of little comfort to the local residents,

0:36:430:36:48

'who've become frightened of these often intimidating dogs.'

0:36:480:36:52

We've had complaints from residents

0:36:520:36:54

that the lads are out with the dogs off leads.

0:36:540:36:58

One of them had a fight with a cat, and it caused problems.

0:36:580:37:03

I've just pulled up and they're outside with them off the leads.

0:37:030:37:07

They saw us and they put them on. They know they should be on leads.

0:37:070:37:13

-All these dogs belong to you?

-Yeah.

0:37:130:37:16

'It's not just the local cat they've been picking fights with.'

0:37:160:37:22

What's happened here with the dog? Is that from the cat?

0:37:220:37:27

No. He was having a fight with the dog next door.

0:37:270:37:31

'Lack of control is allowing these animals

0:37:310:37:34

'to attack other dogs and frighten residents.

0:37:340:37:38

'Inspector Jan Eachus has heard enough.'

0:37:380:37:41

You're coming dangerously close.

0:37:410:37:45

You need to really control the dogs or you're not going to have them.

0:37:450:37:51

Right. Do you hear that? >

0:37:510:37:53

'Sgt Roger Mitham is concerned

0:37:540:37:57

'that these dogs are too much for the young boys.'

0:37:570:38:00

Anybody under 16 doesn't take them out.

0:38:000:38:03

If your other son's over 16, he can take them out.

0:38:030:38:08

There are offences of a dog being dangerously out of control,

0:38:080:38:13

if it frightens somebody, you run the risk of being prosecuted.

0:38:130:38:17

'The lads do love their dogs.

0:38:200:38:22

'Sadly, that love hasn't extended to cleaning up their kennels.'

0:38:220:38:27

-Would you want to get into your bed when there's poo next to it?

-No.

0:38:270:38:32

Animals shouldn't be expected to.

0:38:320:38:35

'The boys are left to clean up and think about the lesson

0:38:380:38:43

'in responsible dog ownership.

0:38:430:38:46

'Hopefully, Xena and Angel will be under control,

0:38:470:38:51

'leaving this estate to breathe a sigh of relief.

0:38:510:38:55

'At the high security kennels at a secret location,

0:39:010:39:05

'there's been a sad development.

0:39:050:39:08

'Tequila has been waiting to go home for almost two months.

0:39:080:39:12

'Identified as a pit bull, she was seized from her angry owner,

0:39:120:39:17

'desperate to keep his beloved pet.'

0:39:170:39:20

No, man. Don't take my dog...

0:39:200:39:22

'To be reunited, all he had to do was prove to a court

0:39:240:39:28

'he was a responsible dog owner, and get her registered.'

0:39:280:39:32

Good girl. Hello.

0:39:320:39:34

'A process that begins with some simple forms.'

0:39:340:39:38

All the paperwork has to be completed within eight weeks.

0:39:380:39:44

We're well into that eight weeks and it hasn't been completed,

0:39:440:39:48

which makes the time frame that we've got left quite small.

0:39:480:39:53

It doesn't look like Tequila will be going home, unfortunately.

0:39:530:39:58

'For Tina and her team, this is a constant source of frustration.'

0:39:580:40:03

Everyone who's been looking after her has got attached to her.

0:40:030:40:07

She's a lovely dog. When she is put to sleep it will be devastating.

0:40:070:40:12

She's happy. She's got used to everybody that handles her.

0:40:120:40:18

It will be devastating, however,

0:40:180:40:21

it is down to the owner that she's being put to sleep.

0:40:210:40:26

'Owning an animal on the dangerous dogs list

0:40:260:40:31

'is a huge responsibility that requires hard work, maturity

0:40:310:40:35

'and a real awareness of what these dogs are capable of.

0:40:350:40:40

'The BARC unit are returning to where Kizzy,

0:40:440:40:47

'a two-year-old pit bull cross, was seized six weeks earlier.'

0:40:470:40:52

-DOG BARKS

-Hello, Jackie. It's the police.

0:40:520:40:56

'Kizzy is back home.'

0:40:560:40:58

Do you want to keep her back? Don't let her out in the corridor.

0:40:580:41:03

'Her owner was prepared to do what was required

0:41:030:41:06

'to have her dog returned.'

0:41:060:41:09

-She's been OK since she got back?

-Good, yeah.

0:41:090:41:12

-How's her temperament?

-Temperament's good as gold.

0:41:120:41:16

I went round a friend's. She's got three dogs. Good as gold with them.

0:41:160:41:22

'Kizzy's been added to an electronic register,

0:41:220:41:26

'bears an ID tattoo and must wear a muzzle whenever in public.'

0:41:260:41:31

She's getting used to the muzzle.

0:41:310:41:34

Obviously, this owner has had a lot of patience with the dog.

0:41:340:41:38

She's done a really good job. I'm really pleased.

0:41:380:41:42

She's a real character.

0:41:420:41:44

-Aren't you?

-BARKS

0:41:440:41:47

'Kizzy is proof that, with the right owner,

0:41:470:41:51

'"dangerous dogs" can live happy and harmless lives.'

0:41:510:41:56

She is a good example of a responsible owner.

0:41:560:41:59

Through her actions, the dog is safe and secure when it's out with her.

0:41:590:42:04

She is in control of it. There's no risk of anybody being bitten.

0:42:040:42:09

We're trying to prevent a crime.

0:42:090:42:12

As far as we're concerned, that's the job done.

0:42:120:42:16

'Next time, on Animal 24:7...'

0:42:200:42:23

We're calling the police.

0:42:230:42:25

'Rescue for the skinny dog in a high-rise prison.'

0:42:250:42:29

The dog's collapsed on the balcony. It's a bag of bones.

0:42:290:42:35

'Horses for courses! A tough handicap for these golfers.'

0:42:360:42:41

The owners aren't used to handling them. They can't get near them.

0:42:410:42:46

'And I join the search for a whale in the city centre.'

0:42:460:42:51

The rescue team has been scouring the surface of the Clyde without...

0:42:510:42:56

There it is!

0:42:560:42:58

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:220:43:26

Series following people dedicated to rescuing Britain's wildlife and pets.

A look at the controversial topic of dangerous dogs. The programme is out on patrol with the units cracking down on the owners who use their dogs as status symbols and presenter Tom Heap witnesses how the dogs themselves can be victims too.


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