Search

Nature or nurture? Harold Hill woman calls for changes to dangerous dog laws

PUBLISHED: 11:25 29 December 2014 | UPDATED: 12:50 02 January 2015

Carrie Sullivan and her dog Bambi  that was seized for 2 months and deemed dangerous. She says it's harmless and has got him back after a £1,300 court battle where Bambi was deemed an illegal breed but not dangerous  (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Carrie Sullivan and her dog Bambi that was seized for 2 months and deemed dangerous. She says it's harmless and has got him back after a £1,300 court battle where Bambi was deemed an illegal breed but not dangerous (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Archant

A teacher whose “dangerous” dog Bambi was seized by police has won her court battle for his return and called for the introduction of behaviour-based laws.

Carrie and Bambi  (photo: Arnaud Stephenson) Carrie and Bambi (photo: Arnaud Stephenson)

Carrie Sullivan, 40, was at work teaching special needs children when her neighbour came to pick her up in September – because nine riot police were outside her home in Dudley Gardens, Harold Hill.

They were there to seize Bambi, a mastiff cross ridgeback, after spotting him with Carrie at a police show in June and doing tests to determine his breed.

Carrie had cooperated fully, not expecting her pet to be deemed an illegal pitbull-type dog, but three months later they returned to take him away.

“He’ll walk off a lead and he’s trained,” said the mother-of-one. “He will run away from my terrapin!”

A two-month court battle costing £1,300 ensued before Bambi was deemed a pitbull, but not dangerous, and returned home.

“He was kept at a private kennel, you’re not allowed to know where,” she explained. “I don’t think breed specific legislation needs to stand. A dog is what you make it.”

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, the assessment of a dangerous dog is weighted towards characteristics and measurements rather than treatment and behaviour, much to Carrie’s disgust.

She said: “He is a much loved family pet but is a banned breed. He can’t go to trainers anymore and he has to wear a muzzle.”

Dangerous dog expert Ian McParland, who assessed Bambi for the court case, believes “the vast majority of dogs are really nice” but said scrapping the section of the act that states all pitbull type dogs are illegal would be a political issue.

He explained: “A lot of organisations are working towards it. But say you are secretary of state and you repeal Section 1 and three months later a kid gets killed by a dog. Your poltiical career would be over.”

He also said the new Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act means police or councils can give community protection notices as a preventative measure for dangerous dogs.

Owners whose dogs are causing problems in a community can be told to muzzle them or have them trained.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 15:00

Just 130 years ago, Hornchurch was a quaint town with gabled houses, says Prof Ged Martin

Moped gangs and knife crime often go hand-in-hand – and are among the gravest fears of residents in Havering.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Did you know that when you can’t see the Moon in the sky, he’s actually down here on earth, suited and booted and fighting crime?

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Shortage of daylight makes us grumpier

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our three-minute Met Office video forecast.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Havering has thrown its hat into the ring for the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture initiative and residents can play a part.

Friday, November 17, 2017

As families gather around their sofas to watch this year’s Children in Need, a hospice wishes to say thank you to the charity for all of its support over the years.

Friday, November 17, 2017

A 20-year-old Romford man had been frightened for his life and acting in self-defence when he stabbed Hosam Eisa to death at The Brewery, a court heard.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now