Merseyside’s “Dangerous Dog” Roundup Ruled Unlawful

Photo by J. Nichole Smith |

Photo by J. Nichole Smith |

"The police came in and took Ruben straight away. They didn't even let us say goodbye. It was just a mistake. He didn't deserve to die for the sake of £25."

Ruben's story is just one from the nightmarish roundup of so-called "dangerous dogs" from Merseyside in March. Merseyside Police seized 22 banned-breed dogs whose owners failed to comply with court orders requiring mandatory third-party insurance on the dogs. The mandatory insurance was part of the process required by an exemption clause in the Dangerous Dogs Act that spares prohibited breeds from being euthanized.

In the case of Ruben, his guardian says she kept up with the pit bull's mandatory third-party insurance every year, and simply forgot to renew the insurance in time. That missed £25 payment came at the expense of her beloved dog's life, as police took him away and had him euthanized.

A judicial review by High Court judges in Manchester today ruled that Merseyside Police acted unlawfully, and did not have the legal power to have those dogs euthanized without court permission.

The ruling may mean that the owners will be paid compensation, although no amount of money can bring back what the police took from them. While the decision comes too late for the lives of twenty-two innocent dogs, it may be a stepping stone towards more effective laws in the future that do not discriminate based on a dog's breed.

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3 thoughts on “Merseyside’s “Dangerous Dog” Roundup Ruled Unlawful

  1. Kenneth Henderson

    Now lets hope justice prevails. This is a huge first step, now its time to hold those responsible that did this horrendous crime, liable for the loss of those dogs. Compensation and jail time, nothing less.

  2. Julie Weingand

    They have no right to take away a family's pet that way. This happened two times in Dec of 2912 in the state of Missouri. They just went into people's houses and took any dog that even resembled a pit bull away. 268 the first time and I can't remember how many the second. These people never got to see their beloved pets again. All over some stupid bull**** law. I never thought that I would see the day when our society would start acting so uncivilized ! This is wrong and it needs to end. It makes me ashamed to be a human being. Just horrible.

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