Search

Exclusive: Newham’s dangerous dogs used as weapons

13:05 12 March 2014

Newham Animal Welfare Service.

Newham Animal Welfare Service.

Archant

Pit bulls used in gang fights are among dogs being seized in Newham – and numbers of dangerous animals are on the up.

Newham Animal Welfare Service.Newham Animal Welfare Service.

Pets taken to the pound have shown signs of being involved in fights, including a pair of pit bulls where the bitch had been sewn up so it could not mate, to make its partner angry and ready to fight, while some of the dogs have “trigger words” which rile them up.

The most popular names of seized animals are Killer and Bullet, which Tina Delaney, animal welfare manager, says reflects the kind of dogs they encounter.

“In gang culture the dogs are used for fighting,” she said. “Whereas before you would fight person to person, now if you have a problem your dogs fight and if your dog loses, it is no good anymore and you will exchange it for another which is bigger and better.”

An employee at the pound needed surgery after being bitten by a seized pit bull three years ago, although they later returned to work.

Newham Animal Welfare Service.Newham Animal Welfare Service.

A decade ago, no dangerous dogs passed through the doors of the top-secret location – but 64 pit bulls, which are illegal in the UK, have been placed in the pound since April.

The borough has the second-largest kennels in London after Battersea but in order to meet the rise in demand for places, eight specialist dangerous dog kennels were recently created and the existing 30 kennels were reconfigured to create additional exercise space at a cost of £57,488.

Almost a quarter of a million pounds was spent in the past year to house dangerous and unwanted pets, including 221 strays.

Tina, who has three dogs of her own, says pet owners are often unaware of the importance of allowing their dogs to socialise.

“A lot of dogs in our society are not a pleasure because people do not know how to train them properly and they don’t teach them behavioural skills early on in life,” she said.

“People think it is funny when they are bitten by their dogs when they are six months old but it is no longer a joke when they try to attack people.”

The Newham kennels was set up in April 1992 and provides a 24-hour service in emergency situations.

The location is kept secret as pet owners have tried breaking into the pound in the past to try to save their pets.

Dogs are exercised twice daily and staff give them as much space and exercise as possible to help improve behaviour.

They are also given rubber toys which have been frozen and stuffed with dog food to stimulate them.

Dogs which respond badly to other animals are housed in isolation units.

Sometimes more than one officer is needed to handle a dog due to behavioural difficulties, while some of the dogs are so scared when they arrive at the kennels that they pant, shake and spin around in circles.

Animals undergo a behavioural assessment after seven days and if they are deemed aggressive to humans or animals they are put down at a local vets.

Sixty-eight dogs have been put down since last April, but Tina says it is irresponsible dog owners who are to blame.

“Staff bull terriers are known for being aggressive but if you socialise them they can be the nicest dogs in the world,” she added.

Newham Council takes a tough stance on illegal dogs, with 21 prosecutions since April last year, the joint highest since records began.

“We get to know the areas where there are dogs,” Tina said.

“Sometimes we get people walking pets late at night to avoid us but we work with police to catch people at different times.”

0 comments

Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 16:05
Akhtar Javeed (Picture: West Midlands Police handout)

The daughter of an East Ham businessman shot dead by armed raiders in a “robbery that went wrong” has appealed to the public for help in finding her dad’s killers.

Birmingham
Yesterday, 19:00
American tycoon Donald Trump, who dominated Tuesday's primary            Picture: PA Images/Andrew Milligan

In the early 17th century, a cohort of determined Englishfolk crossed the Atlantic and built towns and villages on the east coast of North America.

United Kingdom
Yesterday, 14:49
London Mayoral candidates  (left to right) Caroline Pidgeon, Peter Whittle, Sadiq Khan, Sian Berry and Zac Goldsmith at TechDate at Here East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

London’s Mayoral candidates went head-to-head at a special technology debate at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s up-and-coming tech hub yesterday.

Elizabeth Olympic Park
Yesterday, 17:24
Aspers Casino, Stratford Westfield

Leading dealers from across the UK gathered at Aspers Casino in Westfield for the UK Dealer Championships.

United Kingdom

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe