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« At some point, we have to educate owners | Main | KC Council approves contracting out animal control »

February 12, 2009



It almost seems like these animal welfare issues germinate in the UK and then spread to Europe and the US.

The current criticism of show dog breeders started in the UK and then inspired the recent PETA dog and pony show outside of Westminster. Was the UK dangerous dog act essentially the first bsl?


The UK ordinance went into effect in 1991. It wasn't the first, but was certainly one of the first really high profile large-scale BSLs.

To the best I can tell, Hollywood Florida was the first place on this contenent to ban a breed of dogs -- in 1987 I think. There were many more that came on right about that time - Dade County, and many in the Kansas City area. Kansas City, KS, Leawood and a couple of others date back 87/88ish. The big scare following the Time and SI articles prompted several cities to pass BSL -- they didn't even really know what they were banning, but they were doing it anyway. I've never seen anything in the US that pre-dated 1987.

I believe several countries -- including Australia, banned German Shepherds in the 30s and 40s -- part of it was no doubt motivated by the hatred of all things German following a couple of World Wars, but the dog had a tough reputation at the time too.

I wish PETA would just STFU. I do think there are some legitimate issues with some of the show-breeding community -- the UK's situation is much worse than ours since they have so much smaller breed registries and they are an island that further shallows the breeding pool. But they suffer from the same problems -- where breeding for extreme looks has caused health issues. There are legitimate reasons to be concerned on that issue -- unlike PETA, who would like to get rid of all breeding period because they're a bunch of wackos are just using a legitimate concern to further their selfish cause.


Here are some numbers from a 2008 report by the MPS, which is the Metropolitan Police Service in Metro London only. I have it as a pdf, it's no longer available online.

This is for kenneling costs only. Double the numbers to get the rough equivalent cost over here.

Table 3 – The numbers of dogs seized by MPS officers under the Dangerous Dogs Act
2002 32
2003 37
2004 29
2005 33
2006 148 [1]

Table 5 - Cost of kennelling seized under the DDA.
Year Cost
2001 N/A
2002 £191,000
2003 £186,000
2004 £162,000
2005 £175,000
2006 £406,000

3. Any increase in the number of seizures has a commensurate impact in the amount spent. Dogs often have to be kept for long periods of time, often over a year, whilst the legal process takes place.

KC KS Kills Dogs

What's interesting is some of the cities in the USA that have had breed bans for a long time, refuse to supply breakdowns like London's information.

So in many of these cities that have had breed bans since 1987 ++ we have no idea of their intake numbers of the banned breeds nor the cost breakdown.

Do you think these cities have something to hide?


I just read one of the stories about the UK fatality before I saw this post. Here's what caught my eye in the third-last paragraph:

"The baby's grandmother, named locally as Denise Wilson, was treated in hospital for shock in the early hours of Saturday. Neighbours described hearing her screaming when she discovered what had happened to her grandson."


KCK Kills Dogs, why would you think they'd have anything to hide? How mean.

You'd have to add in the costs for police/aco time, court costs, etc, to get the true picture.

It's also noteworthy that the DDA came in in 1991, yet in 2006 they were still seizing 'pit bulls' under the law. Heck, those dogs must have been at least 15 years old by 2006. The ones they are grabbing today are around 18 - at the youngest.

Also, they didn't have one Tosa or Dogo in the UK when they wrote the law.


There's now a bit more information about the baby who was killed and it sounds as though he may have rolled off the table where he was sleeping and that triggered the attack. He doesn't seem to have been unattended, but his grandmother fell asleep.

R craven

I live in the UK and my 5 year old daughter was chased into the house by two Rottweilers that bit her coat, but fortunately did no harm to her.
You may be surprised to read that I agree with you about the act. It is entirely wrongly focussed on the offending animal and not the owner.
We were able to threaten criminalising the owners using the act, but only because the attack started in a public place. If the attack had happened solely in our garden or in our house we would have been powerless. But that is just bad drafting of the law, the more important part was that we were unable to stop the owners from keeping other breeds of dog. We live next door to them and have seen their poor animals abandoned in their yard, bored witless and un-socialised. They are kept out there in all weather day and night and the yar is awash with excrement.
We are unable to get the authorities to deal with anything except the two dangerous dogs, the animal welfare issue is left to charity.
It is all wrong. Please don't go down this path - ban the bad owners not the dogs.

R craven

Another observation about the UK dangerous dog act. It was brought in after a spate of attacks and a tabloid (gutter) press campaign. It was rushed through to appease the press.
You are better off addressing your issues now by agreeing a reasonable way forward with your legislators than waiting for an attack to trigger a knee jerk legislation.


R Craven,

Thanks for your thoughts -- and I'm glad your daughter is ok.

No one wants aggressive dogs around. But it is very obvious to those that are paying attention that it is ownership issues that are causing the problems. These owners' dogs are going to be a problem regardless of what type of dog you force them into owning. Meanwhile, 10s of thousands of 'pit bulls', rottweilers, etc live happily ever after with good owners around the world.

We MUST focus on the problem dog owners -- doing anything else will be ineffective and is irresponsible.

Mrs Maeve Chandler

Our case should be of interest - in April 2009 whilst we were out walking our dog who was on a lead we were the subject of a terrifying dog attack by an off lead German Shepherd dog. My husband was bitten and knocked to the ground, it went to bite my face but got my hand instead, our poor dog was attacked. The dog was with an 11yr old boy who did nothing to help. This dog was kept at the time in the owners garage where it had got out. The boys Mother just hoped we would go away but I demanded she came out and when she did she was abusive to us. When we got home we called the Police who took photos and statments. The owner refused to believe we were bitten and pleaded not guilty. She hired a barrister, and a forensic person to dispute our doctos report. Her barrister applied for the case to be heard in the crown cour as there was a better chance of getting her off. 15 months later July 2010 the case was heard, we were torn apart in court by her barrister. The boy lied and said my husband pushed me over and thats what the mark on my hand was and that the dog was playing and that we beat it with a newspaper. The jury believed him and the verdict was not guilty. So they got away with it and we are left afraid to walk our dog locally in case the dog gets out again. Where is the justice, all we requested is that the dog be muzzled and on a lead when out and socialised more.

Mrs Maeve Chandler

part 2 of above. Sorry forgot to mention that the attack was in the UK. Also the owner got all her expenses paid by the Court. This is where our Justice system in the UK fails us. The Police should have more powers and owners should be more responsible. A garage is not the place to keep a pet dog. If people cannot and will not look after their dogs or any animal properly and kindly then they should be banned for life for keeping any. If it is found out that they have breached this ban then they should get a large fine, community service for 2years and the threat of prison. Anyone who cannot be good and kind to dumb animals are cowards and bad people. However what can we do? In our case we went about things the right way and did not get justice at all. We are left with a nervous dog who does not like walks because he is afraid of other dogs, although he lives with three little ones whom he loves.
It is the owners not the dogs that are the problem and far too many people are breeding dog for the money and not being careful about getting good responsible homes for the puppies. However what can we do, I really despair.


Mrs Maeve -- Sorry to hear your story. I'd recommend calling your representative with the House of Lords, tell them your story, and request that they repeal the current Dangerous Dogs Act and replace it with one that will hold all dog owners, regardless of breed, responsible for the actions of their animals.

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