UK Government

Tower Hamlets, London Borough of (London): Dog made legal

News   •   Oct 13, 2010 12:41 BST

While Tower Hamlets Council continues to crack down on people who use dangerous dogs for intimidation and crime, responsible dog owners who find they have inadvertently acquired a banned breed can legalise their pets if they follow strict guidelines.

A family from Bow found out that Fergie their two year old Staff was actually a pit bull type dog which is a banned breed. Although Fergie was seized by the police under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, the family was able to legally register her so that she could return home.

Fergie’s owner Caron Bangura was made aware that her dog was a banned breed by the council’s dog wardens.

Caron said: “Fergie is a family pet, so we were distraught when we found out she was a banned breed.

“We were over the moon when we found out we could keep her.”

With the help of the police, council dog wardens and the permission of Thames Magistrates’ Court, Caron placed Fergie on the Register of Exempted Dogs. The exemption is only granted if stringent conditions are met.

These include having the dog neutered, tattooed, and microchipped, and ensuring that when the dog is in a public place it is muzzled and held on a lead by someone who is aged 16 or over. Owners also have to maintain insurance against their dogs injuring others.

Caron, who was happy with the way the situation was dealt with, added: “The police kept me informed every step of the way.

“Anyone in a similar situation should work with the police so that they can get their dog back. As long as you’ve looked after your dog and brought them up in a loving environment everything should be fine.

“I was willing to do anything to keep Fergie.”

Principal Animal Warden, Dawn Sammons, said, "Fergie is a lucky dog to have a responsible owner like Caron. Many pit bull types are carelessly owned by people who use them for protection or intimidation.

“It’s this 'weapon' dog ownerhsip that we want to remove from the community, not genuine pets like Fergie."

To find out more information about dangerous dogs and what owners can do if they think they have a banned breed contact the Animal Warden Service on 020 7364 5008 or your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.


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