Northamptonshire police seized a four-month-old Chow Chow named Bungle after it was spotted loose on a busy road.
Police believed that Bungle’s actions “potentially endangered road users.” As they tried to get the Chow Chow under control, Bungle bit one of the police officers. The officer received only minor injuries, but police seized Bungle under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Bungle goes to puppy prison
Bungles owners, the Hayes family, felt that the response was excessive. Speaking to the Sun, they said: “it is not just us that feels the outcome of this accident is grossly draconian and disproportionate.”
A Facebook group set up to free Bungle attracted more than 5,000 visitors.
Gepostet von Patrick Walsh am Donnerstag, 22. November 2018
Despite the protests, local police defended their actions, highlighting that public safety was the priority in such situations. Chief Superintendent Chris Hillery said the decision was made “in the context of some very real and serious cases involving dog bites that have resulted in serious life-changing injuries and even death locally and nationally.”
He went on to say, “I fully support the officers’ actions in this case, the dog was unattended in a live carriageway and was aggressive to those present, resulting in the officer being bitten and receiving injuries that required hospital attention.”
Bungle returns home
A specialist dog handler has since met with the Hayes family, who agreed to a voluntary control order. Bungle the Chow Chow is now back at home.
The police were keen to stress that Bungle’s release was not influenced by the media coverage. The decision was made after specialist officers carried out “a proportionate investigation and risk assessment.”
The Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in 1991. Section 3 explicitly states that owners are legally obliged to keep their dogs under control. Present or not, they’re also responsible for any damage or injuries caused by the dog.