Last night, episode 1 of a two part documentary was broadcast, supposedly looking at the rise in dog attacks. In the few weeks leading up to it, the researchers contacted me several times as I am conducting an investigation into dog bites.
See the facebook page we made (page now closed, results being presented to NDWA on 16th April) Follow this on our SafePets facebook page.
I made it clear to the makers of this show whilst they were still filming that expert opinion on why bites happen was essential to getting the point across. It didn’t happen.
See the SAFEPETS website HERE
SECOND EPISODE 27TH MARCH, ITV 9PM
The show featured mainly, two dog wardens. Kelly Evans, of Birmingham was seen recovering an Akita, abandoned in a house. This clip was released a few days before show broadcast and attracted wide condemnation. The dog was terrified, on its feet and guarding when the DW arrived. She spoke to this dog in a ridiculous high pitched voice, calling him “baby”. She kept opening the door, slamming it shut again when he came forward, still talking in a dangerous tone. The dog, after an hour was dragged out on two catch poles, collapsed in the garden. I have used these many times. Her claim that he was dehydrated and exhausted which caused collapse is nonsense. The poles were too tight, he appeared mildly asphyxiated.
There were claims on social media, after criticism of her handling, that the dog was “feral”. After a week? No he wasn’t, he was afraid. She described him as dangerous and got out of her van later and was fine. A magic van? He was eventually rehomed. She stood with her assistant, laughing outside the home, more bothered by the smell of faeces and a spider than the plight of the dog. She hadn’t brought food or water and had to ask neighbours for them. Her comments about expecting to be “killed by an Akita” were appallingly ignorant and unprofessional.
Join our discussion on our facebook page about the show
ITV DANGEROUS DOGS SHOW DISCUSSION (This page now closed, see the SafePets facebook page for the statement by Tendring Council about the Warden feeding two starving dogs from the same bowl HERE)
The discussions have shown that the public are unhappy at this specific incident, the poor handling, total lack of any dog handling skills and feel that ongoing assessment and training is needed. I think this is the least that is needed. The job is a thankless one. As illustrated later in the show when the warden wants to issue a dog fouling penalty notice and faces abuse and threats from a young couple.
Another warden visited an old lady whose small dog had been attacked in its own home by a neighbours three dogs. the dog had several bad wounds, was highly stressed, yet the owner and warden stood calmly discussing this dog whilst he stood there in shock and pain. The neighbour of course couldn’t care less, one bitch was in whelp and she eventually gave up 2 dogs to the warden on another occasion. A story repeated every day.
It moved on to two visits to homes where people had bull breed type pups, lots of them. One wasn’t home, the other was the flat of a man with clear serious issues, whether mental or substance abuse or both wasn’t clear. Pups of course looked full of worms, not fed properly, man was disinterested, was going to sell them to “anybody that wants one”. When she returned, he’d sold at least half at just 4 weeks old. Surely benefits, housing and councils should have had reports on this activity? It was heartbreaking watching these little bewildered pups, pulled out from inside the sofa at one point, in the hands of a dangerous, greedy man and passed on to probably the same.
This wasn’t a show about dangerous dogs. it was a show about the appalling crisis dogs are in in the UK. It showed the low level of law enforcement, the high numbers of greedy, lazy and selfish dog owners and the sad sight of terrified, abused dogs used as a commodity and a status symbol.
This scenario is again repeated over and over in every town and city. Utterly depressing. There wasn’t one dangerous dog on this show, just a lot of truly dangerous owners.
Watch the show in ITV player https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/dangerous-dogs