itv logo hr_0Last 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



The show featured mainly, two dog wardens.  Kelly Evans, of Birmingham was seen recovering an Akita, abandoned dwitvin 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.

itvpupsIt 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

About Safepets UK

Expert Witness behaviourist assessing dogs for court, treating cats and dogs. Covering Midlands to London and other areas.

13 responses »

  1. Cheryl Humphreys says:

    I was appalled at the program and how the dog wardens conducted themselves. Many of my fellow profession of dog groomers could not watch it. I was disgusted. The akita story was terrible. I could’ve done a better job myself and gone equipped with food and treats and of course a voice of calm. The man with the litter clearly was in no state to look after a fly let alone dog and litter. As for the attacked dog why the he’ll didn’t she take the dog straight to the vet! And fix the fence too! Her property. The lady who gave the dogs up will soon be having another dog or 2 and the process repeats itself. Don’t get me started on the poo pick incident. That was disgraceful. It’s all about dealing with it reasonably and the dog warden didn’t use her tact. As far as I’m concerned she has no job as a dog warden. She clearly stated she had been attacked and hadn’t got of it. She should not be doing that job as fear is the one thing you can’t have! As for spiders! What a joke. Do they not teach or training with handling of these? ! What the he’ll was the man thinking of putting 1 bowl into a kennel of 2 starving dogs?! 1 bowl!!!! And was it really necessary to put the catch pole on them to get them out of the kennel to clean the kennel? ! Surely a fee kind words and a slip lead will make all the difference. Also the anti bite sleeves! What a joke. A dog will bite through them as they don’t hold much protection. I thought the whole saga was a joke and I will watch the second part too but expecting similar. Someone needs to answer to the appalling way the program was shown and also to the members of staff too! I hope they are either sacked or sent on some serious training before being allowed back into the public again.

  2. Johanna purnell says:

    The dog warden who scared the Akita and strangled it practically to death needs sacking!! She should of taken that poor dog with the puppies away fro that drug faced old man .. She needs some serious training on how to handle scared dogs NOT dangerous dogs. The show should be re named Dangerous dog owners.!! The 2 skinny brown dogs should have been kennelled and fed separate then they would have not been fighting each other for food! What sort of brain dead,unprofessional people are dealing with these dogs as a job !! Shocking ,poor dogs.

  3. lisa clavering says:

    My heart was pourin wen I watched this programme where that idiotic so called dog warden tret that poor dog I was pratically jumpin through my tv to get at her that poor dog was chokin u could clearly see he’s tougue was turnin blue its a disgrace summit like that was broadcast let alone lettin that happen would she treat her kids like that she wants jailin in my eyes for animal cruelty,she supposed to be a voice for the animals and not abuse summit wat blaintly can’t talk for itself.She’s a dam disgrace and I hope she got sacked from her job I still say that shouldn’t have been aired at all it just gose to show how the dog wardons treat animals I do hope that dog is ok amoungst the other animals she’s tended to and that dog wardon feels so ashamed with herself that she won’t leave her house again and bar her from havin animals herself DISGRACE this world has gone mad wen it comes to animals where’s the passion I’m so glad I’m a animal person I will never ever be a people person the human species are far to un-prodictable

  4. JEAN Parsonage says:

    I fully agree with cheryl’s comments. I am a dog groomer, akita owner and my husband is a dog warden. The council staff filmed in this programme especially kelly should be held accountable for their actions. In my opinion the akita was asphixiated by kelly and she showed no remorse for her actions blaming anything but herself for this poor dogs condition. As an akita owner i know them to be a hardy breed so her actions were agressive, neglectfull and a vast lack of knowledge and skill was demonstrated in my opinion. There are so many other areas of concern too many to cover in a short comment. I hope action is taken against birmingham council and their employees. There is a petition running about the dog warden kelly’s actions….please all sign !!!!

  5. Animalnut says:

    Having watched the programme in horror, I just pray my dogs never get lost or need this kind of ‘help’. Training in handling is definitely needed, even though I acknowledge that it’s a job many of us wouldn’t do. I cannot understand why the puppies and bitch weren’t taken from that man, it’s clear that he is perpetuating the problem because no responsible person buys a pup in a pub, the poor mites will be used for breeding or fighting. We keep saying the problem needs tackling at source; the breeders, yet when confronted by a spaced out, money maker, the dog warden seemed to totally ignore it !

  6. carie a says:

    the most digusting disturbing progrmme itv have ever shown my 13 year old son was traumatised after seeing that poor dog being half choked to death its the dog wardens who obviously needed to be trained that needs put down not the dogs they showed no empathy for the pathitic poor terrified annimals it didint show one dangerous dog just dangerous wardens u failed big time itv and birmingham council wat could of been a good factual propgramme was none other than annimal cruelty appauled by this

  7. mickcgorman says:

    I was disgusted by the show, made for gratuitous entertainment and shock value! it did nothing to address the cause of dog issues in this country which is the owners and not the breed of dog. The rise in private dog wardens operating for profit rather than animal welfare will see a rise in idiots who strangle dogs in order to control them not to mention talking to dog owners like they are imbeciles, thus losing an opportunity to educate.

  8. Ciaran McGuinness says:

    Watched this on itv tonight. The dog handling techniques of the wardens portrayed are absolutely ridiculous and definitely not up to a standard whereas these people should actually be allowed to rescue or care for any animal.
    The blonde warden portrayed in the programme ‘Kelly’ in my opinion should be stripped of her dog warden license. This woman is more worries about the aesthetics and detriment to herself associated with the place she is rescuing the animal from as opposed to worrying about the physical condition and needs of the animal she was working with. As an animal lover I found this programme an absolute disgrace.

  9. eloise says:

    I do believe that the program ‘dangerous dogs’ is about neglected dogs and how its the owners fault etc… well i watched the show and it apperes that the ‘rescuers’ of the dogs are being more agresive to the dogs than the owners in a way…there was one episode where there was an aceta that was left in a house and the way that they got the dog out was really shocking, they dragged the dog out with 2 tight leads choking the dog untill it couldnt even walk and they just dragged this dog through the whole house and quoted ” he must be so tired from running around stressed” so its very obvious that they where sufficating this dog which was very stress full…on the same episode there ws two underweight dogs, they put one small bowl of food between the two, only the male got food as they ended up fighting, again they rushed into the cage to get the frightend female which when he got it oit and put in a van he litterally threw the dog into the cage and then blamed the dog for bitting him…if they wanted the dogs to be calm sit out side the cage calmly untill the dog trusts you to be there
    If i see any more bad things i will comment
    Eloise lovatt

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