Below is a statement from good friend and colleague Trevor Cooper who as a result of the case of Battersea dog Francis has been subjected to the most vile and disgusting abuse in the last 24 hours by facebook lawyers who clearly do not understand the law relating to strays.
We are absolutely appalled at the abuse that has been levelled at an organization whose aim was to highlight the flaws in the Dangerous Dogs Act in an effort to change it and which is now being levelled at their legal advisor who also happens to be the leading dog law solicitor in the country (and in our opinion entirely correct)
“”The reality of Breed Specific Legislation is that sometimes the law requires a dog to be destroyed simply because of the way that it looks.
I have acted in these cases on behalf of dog owners for 23 years and have saved hundreds of dogs in that time. Sadly, not every dog can be saved.
For reasons of client confidentiality I cannot share the advice that I provided to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home but if you want to read their summary as to why Francis was put to sleep their statement can be found below.
Under s.4B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in the case of a non-exempted Pit Bull terrier type where “the owner cannot be found” the court has no alternative other than to order that dog’s destruction. Exemption is not possible because the law simply does not permit it.
The problem is with the law and if, like me, you believe that the time has come to change BSL then I urge you to stop criticising individuals and organisations who are trying to help but instead do something positive by contacting your MP to put pressure on the Government to change the law. In the Battersea statement they provide a template letter which you may wish to use. Battersea says “Between us we can make a difference. If we are successful, dogs like Francis and countless more in the future, will not have died in vain”. I couldn’t have put it better myself.”