The owners of a rescue dog seized by Bedfordshire Police have said they are “beyond heartbroken” that the much-loved pet has been taken from them.
Indy, a Romanian rescue dog was seized by officers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Joint Protective Services yesterday (3 February) after reports she had bitten a child.
In a post on Facebook, Claire Harding said her mum’s dog had been adopted so she could have a safer and happier life.
“Like many Romanian rescues, Indy went through hell before coming to the UK, dumped as an 8-month-old puppy at shelter gates,” she said.
“She is not a banned breed, she is not a dangerous dog.”
Bedfordshire Police obtained a warrant to seize the dog on 23 December 2021 but only executed the warrant six-weeks later.
Claire says the officer who came to seize the dog told them this was “to get resources together”.
But in her Facebook post, Claire says this shows taking Indy was not necessary.
“Bedfordshire police waited six-weeks to execute it [the warrant], a dog they mistakenly think could be dangerous but weren’t bothered about what a potentially ‘dangerous’ dog could do in 6 weeks…”.
Warning: some people may find the following video distressing
Claire, who lives in nearby Biggleswade maintains that Indy is not a dangerous dog.
“Indy is nervous and fearful but with the right person, a kind hand, slow movements and a calm voice she is the most placid, gentle soul.
“Fear aggression in dogs is very different to true aggression. Fearful dogs cower, they will try to make themselves small and invisible. Indy is terrified of strangers and people she is not used to.”
“The dog handlers were arrogant and intimidating, presenting themselves with catchpoles and when my mother asked if she could have support they denied it and the emphasis was on removing her by whatever means.”
“Today Indy cowered as they came in towards her. She showed not one ounce of aggression but they dragged her with their catchpole terrified and causing her to defecate and wet herself in fear.”
We asked Bedfordshire Police about the incident and why the warrant took six weeks to be executed.
Peter Madden, the dangerous dog advisor for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Joint Protective Services, said: “Yesterday (Thursday) we seized a dog in Biggleswade as part of an investigation into an incident where a dog is reported to have bitten and injured a child.
“At the scene we initially tried to get the dog into our van with the help of the owner, but unfortunately we were unable to do so, so had to use different tactics such as animal control poles.
“While we understand incidents like these can be distressing, we have to put people’s safety first while our investigation takes place.
“We have spoken with the owner this morning and provided an update, and will continue to keep them informed.
“The dog has been taken to private boarding kennels where it is being well looked after, and it will remain here while the case is being investigated.”
Since we contacted Bedfordshire Police they have posted the same comment on their Facebook page which has been inundated with comments of protest.
“Bedfordshire police, sometimes common sense much come into the equation. This poor poor dog, my heart is breaking for her,” said one.
Another added, “This was a clear case of not reading or listening to the dog! Cruel and terrifying for the poor dog and it’s (sic) mum. Let’s use compassion when it comes to animals, they are sentient beings. Come on police get this right.”
A veterinary surgeon has also joined the criticism, “Bedfordshire Police I am a veterinary surgeon and I find this treatment of a terrified dog abhorrent and totally unnecessary.
“Large, intimidating strangers in uniform and carrying poles, how would you expect a nervous dog to react? I have been brought many terrified ‘dangerous dogs’ by the police and they respond so much better to gentle and calm handling.
“If a terrified dog like this bites you, it is a reflection of the poor way that you have approached them.”
However, there has also been support for the police. One person commented, “The police have to follow up on a report of a dangerous dog. If they hadn’t, and the dog was to act out again, you would all be attacking them for not.”
Another said, “If the police have been told the dog has bitten a child then they have to act on it and protect the public.
“I am a huge dog lover and the video was absolutely heartbreaking (sic) but sadly if u have to choose between animal or child the child has to come first and the police are just doing there (sic) job.”