target: The Prime Minister; Deputy Prime Minister; Leader of the Labour Party; Secretary of State for the Home Department; Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs; Parliamentary Under-Secretary; Proposer of the Dog Control Bill; &
we've got signatures,
help us get to 20,000
by December 31, 2012
UPDATE: Venus is going Home!! Thank you to all involved who worked so hard for this Furbaby xx
UPDATE: Sadly, on Monday 18th July, 2011, the Judge who sat the case against Venus has ordered her destruction. However, this will be appealed against.
Venus passed her Police and Individual behaviour assessments deeming her to be safe and a danger to no-one. The Judge however refused to take these assessments into consideration.
On behalf of: All opposed to BSL, and for enforcing responsible ownership. The blame is at the other end of the lead!
Venus, a Staffy cross, has a home in Kent, England, and was a year and a day old when she was seized along with her litter-sister Athena in March 2011. Their 'mum' Victoria travelled to visit relatives in Liverpool for the weekend, taking her beloved Venus and Athena with her, as she couldn't bare to be apart from them.
The police visited the home of her relatives for an entirely different matter unrelated to the dogs. Whilst the police were at the home they noticed Venus and Athena and approached them. Venus and Athena were both scared by their approach and were whimpering. The police seized both the dogs believing them to fall under the 'Pit-Bull Type' of the UK Dangerous Dogs Act. Athena was returned one week later, (in poor condition and with bad kennel cough), as they didn't believe her to be 'of type', but they have kept Venus under section 4b of the D.D.A.
Victoria has requested repeatedly to Merseyside police for information on Venus, including details regarding Venus's seizure, and for any court date, but as of the time of this petition going live (almost four months after Venus's seizure), she has not received any documentation, and the police have not been forthcoming with details by any other means. The only communication she has had with the police is when she pleads for information only to be told by them to "stop pestering with phone calls".
Venus's 'mum' is beside herself not knowing anything about her beloved dog, and Athena is also very much missing her sister as this is the first time they have been separated since birth.
Victoria is a very responsible owner, who has trained and cared for her dogs lovingly, she has also had them vaccinated, insured, micro-chipped and both dogs had appointments booked to be spayed at the Tag Pet Rescue Centre. Neither dog has ever shown any aggression towards anyone or anything. The dogs are known well by their vet who has stated that they both have a good temperament.
Please help reunite Venus with Athena and Victoria who are missing her deeply.
For contact please request to join the following two Facebook groups where Venus's supporters are. Thank you.
In the mainland Great Britain, four breeds are currently subject to BSL under the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA):
Japanese Tosa; Pit Bull Terrier; Dogo Argentino; Fila Braziliero., 'types' of these dogs are also affected. This means that your dog doesn't have to be one of these four breeds to be subject to the DDA: it simply has display physical and behavioural characteristics similar to those displayed in breeds covered by the act. This means that whether a dog is considered dangerous, and therefore prohibited, will depend on a judgment about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited %u2018type%u2019. This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court. The addition of the word 'type' complicates classification, because the guidelines are based predominantly on appearance and are open to misinterpretation. According to these guidelines, a Labrador could be described as 90% pit bull due to the broadly described physical categories - and no guidelines are offered to help officials decide whether behaviour is synonymous with a breed or type. These guidelines - and the room they leave for interpretation - is a real cause for concern in the climate of fear and paranoia, as under British law it is an offence to own, keep, gift, breed from or sell any of the dogs mentioned above.
For the Attention of:
The Prime Minister, The Rt Hon David Cameron MP;
The Deputy Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP;
The Leader of the Labour Party, The Rt. Hon Ed Millibank MP;
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, The Rt. Hon Theresa May MP;
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, The Rt. Hon. Caroline Spelman MP;
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Lord Henley
Proposer of the Dog Control Bill, Lord Redesdale
Laura Sandys, Conservative MP for South Thanet
Luciana Berger, Labour MP for Liverpool, Wavertree
The circumstances of the seizure of Venus are as follows:
Venus, a one year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross has a home in Kent with her owner, Victoria, and her litter-sister Athena. Venus's owner travelled to visit relatives in Liverpool, taking her two beloved dogs with her. On March 31st 2011, the police visited the home of her relatives, and whilst this had nothing whatsoever to do with the dogs, while at the home the police noticed Venus and Athena and approached them. Venus and Athena were both scared by their approach and were whimpering. The police seized both the dogs believing them to fall under the 'Pit-Bull Type' of the UK Dangerous Dogs Act.
Athena was returned eight days later, as they didn't believe her to be 'of type', but they have kept Venus under section 4b of the D.D.A., despite both dogs being of the same litter. Athena's owner was not allowed to collect her due to Venus being kept at the same kennels, however when Athena was returned she was very afraid and clung to Victoria for dear life when they met up again. Athena had also contracted kennel cough, which sounded like a strangulation noise mixed with wheezing. Athena was in a very bad state, the fur around her neck was especially bad, and looked like a constraint of some description was used. All of her fur was very loose and she had flaky skin., which the vet attributed to being in a stressful environment. Athena was also was very reluctant to eat, and seemed to be afraid to take the food, despite constant encouragement. She had to be hand fed for a week, and needed Victoria to literally stand next to her for the following two weeks encouraging her to eat, and even now constantly needs encouragement to eat. Athena is obviously showing signs of distress as this is the first time they have been separated since birth, and she is continually 'crying' for her litter-sister. Victoria stated "Personally i don't think that Athena would have survived if she'd been in the kennels this long" (referring to the length of time Venus has been incarcerated.
Victoria requested repeatedly to Merseyside police for information on Venus, including details regarding Venus's seizure, and for any court date, but at the time of the petition going live (almost four months after Venus's seizure), she had not received any documentation, and the police were not forthcoming with any details by any other means. The only communication was with the police is when she pleaded for information only to be told by them to "stop pestering with phone calls". Victoria obviously was, and is, beside herself not knowing anything about her beloved dog.
The court case for Venus only came to light when Victoria received a phone call telling her the court date was to be held on Monday 27th June, the paperwork concerning the court case was not received until Wednesday 6th July as it had been delivered to the wrong address, despite two home assessments being done at the home, and one being documented. Due to the late arrival of the paperwork it was agreed by the Force Solicitor that it could have an adjournment either 12th or 18th July.
The case was heard on Monday 18th July, of which Judge Clancy ordered Venus's destruction. Although the case was about Venus, the judge deemed Venus's owner not fit to have her returned due to a very minor mental breakdown, however Victoria has also passed her police check with praise. This however, seems also a very prejudicial way to treat Venus's owner, as one in four people in the UK has a mental health problem at some point, and the fact is, she has proven that she is more than capable of raising her dogs to have an excellent temperament and be a fully responsible owner.
We vehemently disagree with his decision, not just because of the prejudice towards Venus, but also because the testaments stating her outstanding behaviour from the people who know Venus best, (the vet, neighbours, rescue centre) were not taken into account, and instead the Judge decided to ignore these as not being relevant to the case. We personally feel that this was biased not only towards Venus, but also towards Victoria.
Neither dog has ever shown any aggression towards anyone or anything. The dogs are known well by their vet who has stated that they both have a good temperament. In addition to the vet's statement and that by the Tag Rescue Centre where both Venus and Athena were booked into be spayed before the seizure, and many supporting letters by those who know both Victoria and her dogs, Venus passed both the police and individual behaviour assessments with outstanding results whereby they stated that she was SAFE and NOT a danger to the public, and could be returned to her owner.
Both dogs are loving family pets and Victoria is more than a responsible owner, it has been remarked that they are a credit to her, as have been raised in an excellent manner, and the excellent assessments reflect this. They are both trained, vaccinated, micro-chipped and insured, so it shows how much responsibility Victoria has for her two dogs. Venus doesn't deserve to be destroyed as indeed does any dog that has fallen foul to the over-zealous and almost pre-historic BSL law.
Venus was seized and kept incarcerated just because of the way she looks and absolutely for no other reason. As previously stated Venus has never done any wrong, never shown any aggression, has had no complaints against her, and official paperwork also states her outstanding behaviour, so why the order of destruction? It seems due to the ignorance and prejudice surrounding the bull breed dog.
If applied to a human, this would be seen as prejudicial racial hatred, and is wrong, just because another species of our animal family has been locked up for the way they look, it doesn't make it any less of an issue. They obviously can't speak for themselves which is why the undersigned have spoken up for her and the many other innocent victims who have suffered through this unjust 'breed selective legislation'.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”
We thank you for taking the time to read our combined views.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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