April 22, 2014
This recent case of pit bulls being singled out took place in the United Kingdom, Express UK News reported April 20.
Merseyside is a metropolitan county in Northwest England, of which Liverpool is a borough. Owner’s of the pit bull breed witnessed their worst nightmare on March 27 as more than 60 officers from the police force’s Matrix unit sent on a killing spree.
This system failed horribly in the March 27 raids. Each of those killed had undergone behavior therapy and been deemed not dangerous by the court system. The dogs were spayed/neutered and microchipped and should have been safe.
A total of 22 pit bull and pit bull look-alike’s were targeted, saying the dogs had lost their “exempt” status because their owner’s hadn’t insured them. The sad part is, the mass murders took place because of a clerical error. All of the dogs killed were on a death list by mistake.
The dogs were dragged out forcefully and executed. One dog was 14 years old. Another was dragged from its 66-year-old owner and her grandson as they pleaded their dog wasn’t illegal. A third was dragged so forcefully with a rope that the dog was bleeding out its mouth.
The Association of Chief Police Officers identified Liverpool as an area with too many uninsured exempt dogs. Owners can keep their dogs exempt by having third-party insurance, which costs about £25 a year. Under the UK Dangerous Dogs Act, pit bull look-alike’s who haven’t harmed anyone can go through a process to have them spared.
Lavinia Ali is mourning the death of her 6-year-old Chloe and described how officers arrived in seven vans to her Toxteth home. The raid on her residence occurred at 7:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
“They kept telling me to hurry up. It was very intimidating, I’m not used to having police officers in my house treating me like a criminal.”
Not only did Lavinia lose her Chloe that morning, her grandson, who protested the officers shouting at his grandmother, was handcuffed and taken to a police van.
At least six of the families have sought legal advice, and plan to sue. Lawyers acting for these families stated that if police had sought destruction papers, as it was their job to do, none of the dogs would have been killed.
Many pit bull owners believe the United States has been singled out as prejudiced officers continue to shoot and kill pit bulls on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this profiling by breed is alive and well in other parts of the world.
For those of you who wish to know more about exempt dogs in the UK, Care2 has an excellent article here that details the responsibilities of the owner.
Note: The article by Express UK News stated within that the raid took place on March 27. News media posted this story on April 20 giving the impression the tragedy happened just a few days ago. Regardless, this is a case that deserves every bit as much attention as the cases in the U.S. receive.