DEFRA allow Milo/all dogs where owners don't have any convictions automatic Interim Scheme
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We petition DEFRA to allow Milo and all dogs, seized under section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (amended), to automatically be granted the Interim Exemption Scheme, where owners do not have any previous convictions.
Milo is a rescue dog; he has lived with his owners for three and a half years, during which time he has been a well behaved, much loved family pet and companion to his owners, both older ladies.
When these ladies selected Milo from the rescue, all the necessary checks were completed. The rescue is a registered charity, has been rescuing dogs and rehoming them to responsible new owners for over 30 years and has an impeccable record. Milo was microchipped and neutered before adoption, he had been assessed for temperament and behaviour, it was agreed that he was an example of an all round perfect family pet.
Milo has lived happily and without incident with his owners until October 2017. Whilst out walking Milo his owner, aged 60, slipped and fell down a bank, she broke her foot and lay for two hours waiting to be found. During this time Milo wandered off, he was found by a member of the public with his lead still attached. Realising this was obviously a lost dog the warden was alerted. From there Milo came to the attention of the police, not because he was badly behaved but because of his appearance, Milo is a mixed bull breed of unknown parentage. The police in Kent seized Milo as a suspected pit bull type dog and held him pending a formal assessment by a Dog Legislation Officer.
Whilst Milo's owner was in hospital waiting for surgery on her foot, Milo was detained at a secret location. His older owner, a lady in her 80s was left to try and find details of what was happening to him. Distressed by the situation and not knowing who to turn to she went to her local police station, where, in tears, she pleaded to have their dog returned.
Eventually the Dog Legislation Officer (DLO) informed Milo's owners that he did indeed believe Milo to fit the description of a pit bull type dog, he then told the ladies that Milo would be detained at police approved kennels until a court hearing to determine Milo's future.
We believe that all dogs in Milo's situation should be allowed to remain at home, with their owners, who are of impeccable character, until such time as a court hearing can be arranged. This facility exists as the Interim Exemption Scheme and is recommended by DEFRA but is left to each police forces' discretion. Allowing dogs to remain at home is not only better for the animals' welfare, it also reduces owners' distress and monetary expenditure. At a time where public expenditure is of deep concern for us all, introducing the Interim Exemption Scheme as compulsory would greatly benefit taxpayers, as the savings in kennel fees and associated costs would be significant. Previous reports published by the BBC show that it costs over £5 million per year to hold seized dogs in kennels (excluding the Metropolitan Police area). There are also subsequent costs that could be avoided including transportation veterinary treat etc.
We the undersigned formally ask DEFRA to direct all forces to implement the Interim Exemption Scheme as mandatory as we believe it is both in the public's and animals' best interest overall.
Milo's progress can be followed on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sendMilohome/
Donations to help with a private assessor plus legal costs (no legal aid is available) can be made via PayPal marked MILO to firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.paypal.me/PBSLTSUKgmailcom
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