Episode 3 Animal 24:7


Episode 3

Series following people dedicated to helping animals in distress. Tom Heap joins the dangerous dogs patrol, removing aggressive and intimidating dogs from Britain's streets.


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Transcript


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Britain's animals are under threat.

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All too often, our wildlife and domestic pets are victims of cruelty

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and persecution and neglect.

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Fighting to save them is a dedicated band of people trying to protect and care for them around the clock.

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This is Animal 24:7.

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Today on Animal 24:7...

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It's my dog! Excuse me! Honestly, it's my dog.

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Mayhem as two dogs are taken from their owner.

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-I don't want dog to go!

-Fine.

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The innocent victims of an illegal trade.

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Keep a cold-blooded animal at the correct temperature or it will die.

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-And a perilous rescue...

-I'm on the ledge now.

-..for the sheep trapped on a crumbling cliff.

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Whoa, whoa, whoa.

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In too many parts of Britain dangerous dogs are becoming a real threat to humans and other animals.

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Sadly, Newham here in East London is just such a place.

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But they are tackling the problem head on.

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With its razor wire and CCTV, this compound could be mistaken for a maximum security jail.

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But the powerful deterrents here are to keep criminals and others out and away

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from the dangerous animals that have been taken away from them.

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All these dogs have been seized from owners who broke the law.

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Most are pit bull types and in the wrong hands can be used as weapons to intimidate

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and wreak havoc on our streets.

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'Tina Delaney is Newham's animal warden and is on the front line in the battle against dangerous dogs.'

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-So who are we about to meet?

-We're meeting Mano and Blackie.

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Mano is a male pit bull terrier.

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And Blackie is a female. They were both seized together.

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-I can hear them!

-Yes.

-Will they be charming and friendly?

-They will be.

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'These two dogs were seized from an owner suspected of using them for fighting.'

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-Keen to get out.

-Yes. Good boy.

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-So he's a pit bull type?

-Yes, he's very athletic.

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You can feel how muscly he is.

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That's without us building him up with a diet that would help him define that muscle

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-and build it.

-But he is classed as a dangerous dog?

-He is, yes.

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That's the definition by law.

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There's a problem with people using dogs as status symbols, as weapons.

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And intimidating people, fighting their dogs and killing local cats. They're the general complaints.

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'Although Mano is good-natured with people, he is aggressive with other dogs.'

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-If another dog walked in here, he would attack it.

-Really?

-And it would probably be fatal.

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-And you just can't have that risk on the street.

-No.

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If you have a dog that's so dangerous, athletic and powerful and an irresponsible owner with that,

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you have a dog that can cause fatalities.

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'Mano is just one of thousands of dangerous dogs that have been seized from our towns and cities.

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'Tina and her team regularly patrol the streets, serving warrants on owners suspected of keeping

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'aggressive animals. Today is no exception.

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'It's late afternoon.

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'We're on the road tracking down dangerous dogs and their owners.

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'Our first call is to a terrorised neighbourhood.'

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-What's the story?

-We've had complaints that two pit bulls are jumping into people's gardens.

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We have had a problem with noise there. He's breached an abatement notice and is being prosecuted.

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We've now had complaints that the dogs are pit bulls. We're just going to make sure that isn't the case.

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'With police back-up, the team closes in on their target.

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'No answer at the front door, so Tina tries a different approach.'

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London Borough of Newham, Animal Welfare and the police.

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'She asks one of the houses on the street for access to the rear.'

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-It looks like the dogs aren't here. What do you think, Tina?

-No. It looks like the person's left.

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There has been signs of dogs. It's quite smelly.

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-Dirty, too.

-They've been scratching and biting at the door and there's old faeces. Looks like he moved out.

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The neighbour said the dogs haven't been here for about a week.

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Maybe because the council are prosecuting him, he's moved on.

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-It's terrifying for the neighbours. They just jump the fence.

-Yeah, the fence is quite loose.

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-It would be really easy for a medium-sized dog to scale that regardless of its breed.

-Really?

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These are one of the things we need to stop. We're here because the dogs have been terrorising the neighbours

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and we have to make sure jumping over into gardens doesn't continue.

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-You can see why the neighbourhood is upset, can't you?

-Yes.

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'This owner is one step ahead of the patrol.

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'But our beat has only just begun.'

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So here what are we expecting?

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-Here we've got, allegedly, four dogs in a community...

-Four?

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..that the neighbours feel are pit bull terriers.

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-'This owner is quickly tracked down.'

-Animal Welfare Service.

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-'Tina is able to confront him.'

-We've had a complaint about the type of dogs.

-Eh?

-The type of dogs.

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-What dogs do you have?

-They're Staffs.

-Can I have a look?

-Yeah, darling.

-Thank you.

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'The owner claims his dogs are Staffordshire bull terriers, a breed not on the banned list.

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'Tina still needs to check. And it's not just the type of dog that's an issue here.'

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-You have a community area.

-Yeah.

-A community area.

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-Your neighbours are complaining that you are allowing your dogs in the community area.

-Never, darling.

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'Now it's time to find out what's really going on at these flats.'

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'Later:

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'I realise just how dangerous Tina's job can be.'

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You can see why they'd scare people if they're around a communal area.

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'And cracking down on a cruel trade.'

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There's an overcrowding issue. You've got five birds in a cage.

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Now we're off to the Pembrokeshire coast. It's an area of outstanding beauty,

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but as this next story shows, the high cliffs can also be extremely dangerous.

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The Blue Lagoon in South Wales.

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This former slate quarry is now a beauty spot, popular with tourists and wildlife.

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Sheep graze happily high above the cliffs, but one's got into trouble.

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Big trouble.

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It's stuck on a crumbling ledge and is inches away from falling hundreds of feet to the rocks below.

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Ah, it's there.

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Oh, blimey.

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Inspector Keith Hogben is part of the RSPCA's specialist Rope Rescue team and has been scrambled

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into action.

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Usually they see a nice bit of lush grass and they just follow the path or something down.

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It's all right for the sheep to get down, but not back up.

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Keith and his colleague Richard Abbott have rescued dozens of sheep here before,

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but this case has an added danger - the cliff is crumbling away.

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The problem is this ledge is very loose. It's not flat as well.

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I haven't abseiled down there before, so there will be a lot more debris to follow as we come down.

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The team begins to prepare for this hazardous operation.

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Richard will man the rescue from the top of the cliff.

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Whoa!

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Keith and Inspector Christine McNeill will go over the edge...

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just as the weather takes a turn for the worse.

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It's starting to rain a bit. That's made the slate slippery.

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Slip and you could injure yourself.

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The climbers begin their dangerous descent.

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Go, go, go, baby!

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-Keith successfully negotiates the tricky terrain.

-I'm on the ledge now and on the safety, all right?

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But then there's a problem.

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Whoa, whoa, whoa.

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ROCKS TUMBLE

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The cliff is falling away beneath Christine's feet.

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Right. Christine's in no man's land. She's dangling there.

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She's on no secure ground. She's trying to find a secure footing.

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OK, tell her to find a hold. We'll shift your line first.

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If need be, we'll get her to follow the path you've just done.

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OK. Don't do anything until I give you the OK.

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-Christine finally gets her footing.

-Nice and easy.

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Keith attempts to grab the sheep.

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-Whoa, whoa, whoa.

-But the animal panics and moves further down.

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This cliff face is literally falling apart.

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And the sheep is becoming more stressed. There's a danger it could jump.

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Then suddenly Keith loses his footing

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and the terrified animal panics and jumps.

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Down, is he?

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Everybody holds their breath.

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Blimey.

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But then...

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The sheep nonchalantly emerges.

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Yeah, it's gone to the next ledge, which I think it can walk off.

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It's a great relief for Keith and the team

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and the sheep trots off blissfully unaware of all the fuss.

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Sheep do jump. That's one of the hazards of these cliff rescues.

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I've been doing this for 10 years or so and never had an injured sheep.

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They can jump 20, 30 foot. That one was fine. It trotted off on the footbridge. He's happy.

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Hopefully it's learned its lesson not to go off looking for fresh grass,

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but I dare say we will have another call within the month or so for another sheep at this location.

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'Coming up: another animal gives Keith the runaround.'

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All right!

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All right...

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-'And hostility on the Dangerous Dogs patrol.'

-I don't want this dog to go!

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That's fine.

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Exotic animals like snakes, parrots and tortoises have become popular pets.

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With this demand there's been a huge rise in the trade for people selling them,

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a business governed by strict rules.

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But despite this, some people are prepared to ignore the law

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often putting the animals' lives at risk.

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Northumbria Police Station, Newcastle.

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Area Command HQ.

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RSPCA Inspector Trevor Walker and a team of police officers are preparing to mount a raid.

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Intelligence suggests someone in the area has been illegally trading in exotic animals.

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He was first prosecuted in 1994 for causing suffering to tortoises.

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It must have been substantial to get a 20-year ban. Banned until 2014.

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What this guy has continued to do is appears to have traded in exotics, basically parrots and tortoises.

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This is a two-pronged attack. One team will visit the suspect's home, the second a lock-up

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-where it's believed he's based.

-He's part of a bigger circle.

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It could well lead to a lot of other things, but the first priority is if there are animals, remove them

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and we'll sort it out later on.

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Trevor is leading his team to the lock-up unit.

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Anyone trading in exotics must have a licence.

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So Trevor will be searching for evidence of illegal trading.

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There are no animals inside the unit, but suspicions are raised.

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The room is stacked floor to ceiling with crates designed for one thing.

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-I mean, these are all tortoise boxes.

-Are they?

-Yeah.

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We'll have one of these open and see what's inside.

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Trevor wastes no time in looking for clues that could lead to a conviction.

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So why is somebody who is disqualified in keeping animals dealing in cages?

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These are obviously bird cages.

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The team beings to load the vans with the boxes.

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Meanwhile, across town, the other team has finished their search of the suspect's home.

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Although they failed to find any animals,

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they found some paperwork that opens an entirely new line of inquiry.

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It appears the suspect has been supplying animal cages to another location.

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-Police went straight to the second address...

-Will do. Cheers, mate.

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..and now have news for Trevor.

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They've got out there and there is bats and parrots there.

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And there's some tortoises as well.

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I think if we go round and have a look and see what condition they're in.

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Trevor wants to know if these animals have been supplied by the original suspect.

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He heads straight to the new address.

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On arrival, it's instantly clear there are serious issues here.

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Inside the dark and damp garage, the team finds parrots crammed in cages.

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And tortoises being kept in inappropriate conditions.

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There's an overcrowding issue. You've got five birds per cage.

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Trevor believes the animals are suffering and that this man is trading in pets illegally.

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When you consider that we're investigating potential dealing in exotic birds and tortoises

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and we've just happened to come across exotic birds and tortoises,

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the suspicion is that this is possibly part of the ring that we were looking at earlier today.

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Trevor is concerned about the health of these animals.

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All are seized. 10 parrots and 8 tortoises are boxed and put in the vans.

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The man at this address denies any link with the other suspect, but is arrested.

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-Hi, there!

-Animal collection officer Dave Dawson rushes the animals to the local vet, Jacquie Paterson.

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These are actually leopard tortoises.

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They come from sub-Saharan Africa,

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so they're not like the classic Blue Peter tortoise that you can get away with holding in your garden.

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These require very high temperatures all year round. They don't hibernate.

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These tortoises are lucky to be alive, but have not come away completely unscathed.

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You can also tell that these have not been well looked after

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because you have this doming of the shell. It should be smooth.

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This doming, we call it pyramiding, is a sign, basically, that they have not had sufficient calcium

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or UV light. If you don't keep a cold-blooded animal at the correct temperature, it can't function.

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It significantly affects its physiology. It may still move about, may eat a little or grow a little,

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it's going to die.

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It seems they've been found in time,

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but now the tortoises need urgent veterinary treatment.

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We need to get them warmed up, rehydrated. We'll take weights before and after they drink.

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We'll almost certainly need antibiotics. I'm suspicious that they've been poorly kept.

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All the tortoises are given a full examination, a shot of antibiotics and then put in a much-needed bath

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to warm up and rehydrate.

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Next, it's time for the parrots.

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They have been crammed in a small cage, unable to spread their wings.

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The back of his head's missing its feathers. That's almost certainly another bird pecking at him.

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That goes on with the cage being so small. You get a large number of birds in a small space

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and they pick on one of them. He's getting a bit duffed up, which isn't very pleasant.

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You'll calm down, won't you?

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This case has taken a completely new direction.

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The RSPCA still has plenty of questions to ask and much more to investigate,

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but for now at least the animals are safe and in the best place to begin their recovery.

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Coming up: the injured swan determined not to give up.

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It's quite upbeat. A lot of animals, you can tell if they want to live. He's got the chance to live.

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The Dangerous Dogs Act bans the ownership of certain breeds,

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but any dog can be a threat to the public.

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Specialist units have been set up across the country to crack down on aggressive, intimidating dogs.

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As I found out, it's a job that can take officers face to face with hostility.

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'I'm on patrol with Tina Delaney, on the lookout for dangerous dogs in the London Borough of Newham.

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'55 animals were seized in the district last year.

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'Now Tina's received reports that this owner may have four pit bulls.

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'Residents have also complained that the dogs are terrorising the flats.'

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I'm not suggesting they're vicious, but your neighbours complained about them being in the community garden.

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-'The owner agrees to show Tina his pets, but he warns they can be boisterous,'

-OK.

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-They jump on you.

-That's OK.

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'The owner has denied owning a banned breed,

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'but after a quick glance Tina fears the opposite.'

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Tony, move the van. Move the van.

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-What were those instructions?

-To move the van. From the immediate look at the dogs,

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two may be pit bull types.

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-MAN YELLS

-'Inside, the owner is struggling to control his dogs.

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'Everyone is on high alert.'

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-OK. What I want to do...

-Yeah?

-..is see one of them at a time on its own.

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-I'm going to give you a lead. Bring one of them at a time out.

-No problem.

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'The first dog emerges gingerly from the flat.'

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Hello. MAN SHOUTS

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That's OK. You don't need to shout. He's fine.

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-Hello.

-What are you seeing there, Tina?

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-This one's just a sort of Staffie type. She's quite nervous.

-'It's calm and not a pit bull.

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'But the second dog to come to the door is boisterous and powerful.

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'The owner quickly loses control.'

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YELLING

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-'A frantic case of containment.'

-Is that door shut downstairs?

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-'Four powerful dogs in a small stairwell.'

-Give me a lead.

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It's chaos here. He's clearly got no control over his dogs.

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-I'm not worried about him biting me.

-He won't bite you.

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Thankfully, no evidence yet of them being aggressive in any way,

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but you can see why they'd scare people in a communal area.

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'The priority is to make sure no one else is put at risk.'

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Want to grab hold of that one? Take him and put him in a room.

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-'Finally, the team restores some kind of order.'

-I'm just going to hold the door, OK?

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Calm down, it's OK.

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'But Tina knows that something here has to change.'

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Tina's gone inside, but we felt it was best if I stayed out. It was getting overheated and overexcited.

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And the gentleman was a bit upset.

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You can see them coming to the letterbox still.

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Apparently, this is a council property and he's not allowed this many dogs here.

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As to the breeds, they're having a closer look.

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'If the owner doesn't agree to give up some of the dogs, he could face eviction.'

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Rather than making you get rid of all four, which will upset you even more,

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if you give me two...

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'The owner finally realises he has no option.

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'He signs over two dogs, but as they leave, it all becomes too much.'

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-You make me sick!

-I understand that.

-You make me sick!

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'Tempers are fraying and as the dogs emerge, the situation becomes tense again.'

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MAN SHOUTS

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Don't let me see them!

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Good.

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'Tina has to work quickly and calmly.'

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Come on.

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'The dogs are becoming stressed.

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'And there's another barrage of hostility.'

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That's my dog! Excuse me! Honestly, it's my dog.

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'The owner's family and friends have now turned up and tensions are rising.'

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Where are you taking him?

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MAN ARGUES

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'Tina and the police must now try to restore calm to a volatile situation.'

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-Right, if I talk to you on your own...

-I don't want to talk to you!

-That's fine, that's fine.

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Please! Leave me alone!

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As you can see, it's getting quite overheated here.

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One of the younger men is claiming the dogs belong to him,

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rather than the gentleman who is getting very overexcited.

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We'll let Tina and the police handle it.

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'Tina explains to the owner's son why she had to act.'

0:25:290:25:33

What's going to happen is the council will evict him because he's got four dogs. If he doesn't get rid of two,

0:25:330:25:39

-he'll have to get rid of all four or be evicted.

-"It's been a difficult and tense job,

0:25:390:25:45

-'but the owner should now find it easier to cope.'

-The difficulty is living in a residential block,

0:25:450:25:51

using the community garden. He can't control the dogs and obviously he's an older gentleman.

0:25:510:25:59

When he opened the door, four dogs ran out and he was hitting them, trying to control them.

0:25:590:26:05

-That isn't going to work.

-And it was pretty scary for us.

0:26:050:26:10

-Imagine if you had toddlers or an old person.

-Yeah.

-A frail old person.

0:26:100:26:16

-You'd just be bamboozled by that.

-Or even just a regular member of the public.

0:26:160:26:21

'Tina will continue to monitor this case. If she receives any more complaints, she'll be back.

0:26:210:26:28

'For now, though, as darkness begins to fall, we're back on patrol.

0:26:310:26:36

'There's one last job Tina needs to attend.'

0:26:360:26:40

-What's the story behind these doors?

-We've had complaints of two dogs of a pit bull type

0:26:400:26:46

that he sets onto people. So we need to investigate the possibility they're pits,

0:26:460:26:52

but also that he has two dogs that he may set onto people.

0:26:520:26:57

'With allegations the dogs have been used as weapons, this could be a serious case.'

0:26:570:27:03

-Still to come:

-My problem is that you have a dangerous dog.

0:27:160:27:20

You can't use a dog as protection.

0:27:200:27:23

Earlier in the programme, we saw RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogben rescue a sheep that was stranded.

0:27:260:27:34

Now he's about to embark on another difficult job. This time it's on the water.

0:27:340:27:40

On this canal in Cardiff, a bird needs help.

0:27:460:27:50

This male mute swan has damaged both wings.

0:27:520:27:56

He can't fly and is in real danger of being attacked by predators.

0:27:560:28:01

Here he is.

0:28:020:28:04

Let's just drop down here nice and slowly.

0:28:040:28:09

The RSPCA has already tried and failed to rescue him.

0:28:090:28:13

I'm just going to try to coax him in with some bread.

0:28:130:28:18

But today Inspector Keith Hogben is back with a team determined to have another go.

0:28:180:28:24

Both his wings are injured, damaged. We're not too sure how.

0:28:240:28:28

It may have been power lines or a number of reasons. He needs to come off and see a vet.

0:28:280:28:35

The first thing is trying to catch him. We could be here all day.

0:28:350:28:40

Plans to grab the bird with a swan hook are not going well.

0:28:400:28:43

He's very wary, isn't he, of the hooks?

0:28:430:28:47

So it's time to take to the water.

0:28:490:28:52

One, two, three.

0:28:530:28:55

One, two, three.

0:28:550:28:57

OK.

0:28:590:29:00

The chase is on. This swan has to be caught and has to be caught now.

0:29:020:29:06

The team is gaining on the swan.

0:29:090:29:11

-Nigel manoeuvres the boat. Keith can attempt to catch it.

-Gently, gently, Nige. Hang on.

0:29:130:29:19

But then...

0:29:210:29:23

-That's the engine.

-..the boat's engine fails.

0:29:230:29:27

-I think he's struggling in the weed.

-Yeah.

-I know you are as well.

0:29:270:29:32

-OK, here we go.

-The boat closes in once more.

0:29:350:29:40

The longer this rescue goes on, the more stressed the swan becomes.

0:29:400:29:44

Keith makes his move.

0:29:440:29:47

All right.

0:29:470:29:49

All right...

0:29:500:29:52

-Hold him.

-SWAN HISSES AND CRIES

0:29:520:29:55

Fine.

0:29:550:29:57

-With the bird so frightened...

-Hang on.

-..Keith has to work quickly to calm it down.

0:29:580:30:05

You could see the swan is still very mobile and he gave us the runaround.

0:30:060:30:14

-The main thing is we've caught him.

-Back on dry land, the priority is medical help.

0:30:140:30:19

He's quickly boxed up and he's now ready for his journey to the surgery.

0:30:220:30:28

A mile away is Valley Vets.

0:30:310:30:34

Experienced bird surgeon Jordi Colas begins his examinations.

0:30:360:30:41

Ssh.

0:30:420:30:43

Right, there's nothing. I can see there's no blood.

0:30:450:30:49

-The colour of the mucous membrane is good.

-All right, you.

0:30:490:30:54

Just check there's nothing in the throat.

0:30:540:30:57

There are no clues as to why the bird can't fly.

0:30:570:31:02

-There's no obvious fractures.

-So Jordi decides further investigation is needed.

0:31:020:31:08

Just in case, it would make sense to take x-rays from the wing.

0:31:080:31:13

If the x-rays show the wing has been broken, the bird may have to be put to sleep.

0:31:130:31:19

Keith's tense, but the first results are promising.

0:31:190:31:22

-There's no indication of an obvious fracture.

-On any of the x-rays, there's no indication?

-Exactly.

0:31:220:31:29

So if you send him away with meds and just keep observations...?

0:31:290:31:34

-Well, it's not that simple.

-OK.

-Because then we have these images.

0:31:340:31:40

The x-rays of the bird's chest seem to indicate severe swelling and bruising.

0:31:400:31:46

I don't think that we have a diagnosis at the moment,

0:31:460:31:51

but I suspect that there may be there is an organ problem.

0:31:510:31:56

Now we have several options.

0:31:560:31:59

Option one is to see how the bird responds,

0:31:590:32:03

with rehabilitation, with medication based on antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

0:32:030:32:10

But if we don't see a good response to the treatment, we will have to consider taking further tests.

0:32:110:32:18

It's still unclear how the swan received the injury, but Keith hopes that, given time,

0:32:180:32:24

-the bird may pull through.

-I'm still positive.

0:32:240:32:28

We haven't put him to sleep. He's hanging in there. The swan itself is quite upbeat.

0:32:280:32:34

A lot of animals, you can tell by their attitude if they want to live.

0:32:340:32:39

If he can go back to the wild 100% fit, great.

0:32:390:32:43

Tinkers Hill bird sanctuary.

0:32:510:32:54

For the past 8 weeks, the swan has been recuperating here under the care of Maria Evans.

0:32:540:33:01

-Is this him at the back?

-Yeah.

-Oh, wow.

0:33:010:33:04

He's on his feet. Hello, handsome!

0:33:040:33:07

It turned out he was suffering from nerve damage, but now he's fit,

0:33:070:33:12

healthy and ready to go home.

0:33:120:33:15

Nerve damage, you never know. There's no treatment for it and you never know how long it'll be.

0:33:150:33:21

-It's just been a case of rest?

-Yes.

-Maria rehabilitates hundreds of swans here every year.

0:33:210:33:28

Years of experience doing that!

0:33:280:33:30

And she's a dab hand at catching and carrying her patients.

0:33:300:33:35

-Thanks for taking him back.

-I've got the best job - releasing him!

0:33:350:33:40

It's a two-hour drive back to the canal where he was found.

0:33:430:33:47

It'll be nice to see him go.

0:33:500:33:52

Keith is met by Animal Collection Officer Fiona Jackson, who helped with the original rescue.

0:33:520:33:58

Just watch your footing here.

0:33:580:34:01

The swan is bright, alert and seems to sense he's home.

0:34:010:34:06

All right?

0:34:070:34:09

This is the best part of the job.

0:34:110:34:13

Nothing beats it. We're so privileged to be able to help wildlife out like this

0:34:130:34:19

and to get any wild animal back to where it's from, 100% fit, in its proper surroundings,

0:34:190:34:25

you can't ask for more than that. From the bit of stress he had when we caught him with the boat,

0:34:250:34:33

you wouldn't think it was the same swan. So I'm really pleased.

0:34:330:34:38

Yeah, it's made my week.

0:34:380:34:40

Finally, we're back with Tina Delaney who's been cracking down on dangerous dogs in Newham.

0:34:490:34:55

Earlier we seized two unruly animals who'd been terrorising residents in a block of flats.

0:34:550:35:02

Now we'd been called to a house where neighbours have complained that a dog is used as a weapon.

0:35:020:35:08

'Our shift on the streets of Newham is coming to a close,

0:35:120:35:17

'but there's one more complaint to investigate.

0:35:170:35:20

'There are reports that the dog at this house is being used to intimidate and attack people.'

0:35:200:35:26

-Where's your dogs?

-'The dog's owner doesn't speak much English, leaving her son to translate.'

0:35:260:35:32

-Is he OK with strange people?

-No, he just tries to protect us.

0:35:320:35:37

OK, you need to put him on a lead, then.

0:35:370:35:41

'The dog, a Shar Pei, is brought to the door. Although not on the banned list,

0:35:410:35:46

'there's no doubt it's aggressive.'

0:35:460:35:49

'It appears these owners are not in control of their dog. Tina is extremely concerned.'

0:35:570:36:03

My concern is that if this dog is walked out in a public place,

0:36:030:36:08

he may actually attack people.

0:36:080:36:11

'With the dog locked away, Tina can ask her questions.'

0:36:110:36:14

If you had the dog and I asked you the time, how would he respond?

0:36:140:36:19

How would it behave?

0:36:190:36:22

THEY DISCUSS IN OWN LANGUAGE

0:36:220:36:25

My mum says he may attack.

0:36:270:36:29

OK. My problem is that you have a dangerous dog. Can you tell that to your mum?

0:36:290:36:35

'But the owner explains there is a reason why her dog is aggressive.

0:36:350:36:40

'She feels vulnerable in the area and uses the dog as protection.'

0:36:400:36:45

So your mum's saying she's scared to go out, yeah? Scared out?

0:36:450:36:50

You can't use a dog as protection. It's against the law. Your dog needs to be muzzled in a public place.

0:36:520:36:58

We've had complaints about him being aggressive.

0:36:580:37:02

'Tina is left in no doubt - this dog is a threat to the public.'

0:37:040:37:11

This needs to be taken further. When he's out, it's a case of when he's going to bite, not if.

0:37:110:37:18

-Can I have something with your mum's name on it, please?

-'Action needs to be taken.'

0:37:180:37:24

The story behind that door is it's not a banned breed. It's a Shar Pei, but it seemed pretty aggressive

0:37:240:37:31

and the mother in the house suggested it's quite...aggressive when it meets people on the street.

0:37:310:37:38

So Tina thinks it should be muzzled. That's what she's getting across.

0:37:380:37:43

-'The family is served with a restriction order.'

-As soon as you go outside with the dog,

0:37:430:37:49

you must have a muzzle on him. Thank you very much.

0:37:490:37:53

'This dog must now wear a muzzle every time it leaves the house.'

0:37:530:37:57

That was apparently a family who didn't want to cause harm.

0:37:570:38:02

-They were fearful, not aggressive.

-No, not aggressive themselves,

0:38:020:38:06

but she's saying in the community she's very afraid and she needs something to protect her.

0:38:060:38:12

She's using him to protect her.

0:38:120:38:15

What our difficulty is, if somebody approaches her to ask the time or just ask her a question,

0:38:150:38:22

then the dog will bite. what he's just said is if he shakes the dog's lead, the dog attacks.

0:38:220:38:28

He's taught the dog to do that. So it's not a pit bull type and is not by law dangerous,

0:38:280:38:34

through its sheer nature and training it is being used as a weapon.

0:38:340:38:39

'Tina will check on this case. If the dog is seen out without a muzzle, it could be seized.

0:38:390:38:46

'It's half past nine. Our patrol has now come to an end,

0:38:530:38:57

'but before we call it a night we need to settle down the two dogs from earlier.'

0:38:570:39:02

A bit less crazy now, aren't you?

0:39:020:39:05

'A couple of hours ago, Simba and Wine were seized from an irate owner.'

0:39:050:39:11

-Give me a lead.

-'It was a stressful situation for all,

0:39:110:39:16

'but especially the dogs.'

0:39:160:39:19

-They look all right now they're out. A bit less mad.

-Yes.

0:39:220:39:26

What does the future hold for these two immediately?

0:39:260:39:30

Both will be assessed. They seem to be quite nice dogs.

0:39:300:39:35

A bit nervous at the moment coming in to a new environment. They probably haven't been walked much.

0:39:350:39:42

He's an elderly gentleman with four dogs. They'll need socialising.

0:39:420:39:46

What I'm quite encouraged about is they're more likely to find a home.

0:39:460:39:51

When I saw them charging about, I wasn't sure who'd want them.

0:39:510:39:56

The test is whether they're OK with strange dogs and how they are once they feel more confident.

0:39:560:40:03

It's interesting how much calmer they seem here. In that hall they were crashing about.

0:40:030:40:09

-In the flat they were going crazy.

-They had a very small environment.

0:40:090:40:13

The four of them form a pack. They are more boisterous.

0:40:130:40:17

He's not got any control over them.

0:40:170:40:21

Here it's new, they're not together and they're easier to manage.

0:40:210:40:26

We need to get these two a square meal and into a kennel. Just before we get rid of them,

0:40:260:40:31

we started the day thinking we might find a few banned breeds, pit-type breeds. In the end, we didn't,

0:40:310:40:37

but we found dogs causing problems.

0:40:370:40:40

Often, once people see a kind of bull-breed dog, they don't know a pit bull from a Staff or cross.

0:40:400:40:46

They just see this broad head and those kind of eyes and think, "It's a pit bull!"

0:40:460:40:53

Absolutely. The main thing is, it's positive. We've gone out, executed a few warrants,

0:40:530:40:59

we haven't found any banned breeds, so we're doing our job properly. There's hardly any about.

0:40:590:41:05

We have found a few problems, we'll hopefully help to solve.

0:41:050:41:09

-These two will go, hopefully, to a nice home. The Shar Pei...

-Will get a muzzle on.

0:41:090:41:16

So it can't cause a problem and it prevents a bite, hopefully.

0:41:160:41:20

We haven't seized any banned breeds, but we have made a difference.

0:41:200:41:25

'These dogs will now undergo assessments to find out whether they are safe to get new homes.

0:41:250:41:31

'It's a month later and time to check on Simba and Wine's progress.

0:41:370:41:42

'They have both passed all their personality tests

0:41:450:41:49

'and are now blossoming in the kennels.'

0:41:490:41:54

They are really gentle and nice.

0:41:540:41:56

She's got a bit more energy and needs more training than he does.

0:41:560:42:01

But they are very soft and gentle, they're OK with other dogs, nice with people.

0:42:010:42:06

'Simba and Wine's story was one of two dogs in the wrong home and there is a happy ending.'

0:42:090:42:16

We're confident of them being re-homed. We have got a few rescues on the list.

0:42:160:42:21

When a space is available, they'll go to that, neutered and vaccinated.

0:42:210:42:26

'But for Tina, her work to improve the lives of dogs like these

0:42:260:42:30

'and make our streets a safer place will continue.'

0:42:300:42:34

Good boy.

0:42:340:42:36

If you think you know of a case of wildlife crime or a creature that needs immediate protection,

0:42:410:42:47

there are dedicated professionals out there who will answer your call right around the clock.

0:42:470:42:53

They are the people we meet on Animal 24:7.

0:42:530:42:58

Subtitles by Subtext for Red Bee Media Ltd - 2010

0:43:100:43:14

Email [email protected]

0:43:150:43:17

Presenter Tom Heap joins the dangerous dogs patrol, removing aggressive and intimidating dogs from Britain's streets. The RSPCA rescues a sheep trapped on a cliff, and the police raid the property where they suspect tortoises are being sold illegally.


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