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The most notorious type of dog is the Pit Bull, banned along with three other breeds, under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The complicated law refers to a Pit Bull type. To determine whether a dog is banned and supposedly dangerous a specialist police officer takes a series of measurements of the animal. If the majority of the measurements fall within the criteria, the dog is deemed dangerous and illegal. An inch or two, either side, decides the animal’s fate.
In Waltham Forest, North East London, dog wardens and police make a point of enforcing the Dangerous Dogs Act vigorously. The cameras follow a team of 20 dog wardens and police officers as they check the insurance documents of registered Pit Bulls in the area. If anyone’s insurance is out of date the dog gets taken away.
It is possible to own a Pit Bull legally, but they have to be registered, micro-chipped, tattooed, neutered, kept on a lead and muzzled when in public. Their owners must have third party insurance just in case they attack someone.
The wardens and police officers call on a young woman, whose insurance for her dog, Spray, ran out four months ago.
Spray will be taken to secure kennels and assessed. If she exhibits signs of aggression, she will be destroyed. Assuming Spray passes the test, a judge will decide whether the owner will get her dog returned.
There’s no happy ending for a stray Pit Bull in Cardiff. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act he can’t be re-homed. He will have to be put down. By abandoning the dog his owner has condemned him to a death sentence.
After complaints from neighbours, Birmingham dog warden Kelly Evans visits a woman who has four dogs and eight puppies in her house, as well as seven cats locked up in the bathroom. Kelly tells her she can’t keep the cats in the bathroom. The woman agrees to let Kelly take away the cats but she refuses to give up the dogs and the puppies. She claims they are her life, despite the poor conditions they are living in.
The dogs are un-walked, un-socialised and it’s this lack of care that can make any dog potentially dangerous. But the law prevents Kelly forcibly removing dogs if they are given food, water and shelter.
A graphic look at the rise in the number of dog attacks and the devastating consequences in a new documentary series.
The two part documentary looks behind the ‘devil dog headlines’ at whether the root cause of Britain’s dangerous dog problem is irresponsible owners. The film follows dog wardens on the front line dealing with dangerous dogs. They talk candidly about the horrific cases they encounter.
Narrator: Suranne Jones