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Initial statement in response to BBC Inside Out report on dangerous dog Stella

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Police response to BBC coverage

A police spokesperson said: “The Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced to help reduce the number of adults and children attacked and bitten by dangerous dogs.

"In the past two years, in the region of a hundred dogs have been seized by Devon and Cornwall Police. During this time Stella, an illegal breed that had to be seized, has been the only dog deemed too dangerous to walk due to her aggressive behaviour.

“Once the dog was seized, an initial review was made in which the decision was reached that Stella was too dangerous to be exercised by kennel staff. This assessment remained under constant review and a number of further examinations were made by independent external experts including the RSPCA, who were all in agreeance that the animal was too dangerous for staff to exercise. 

“At all times we must balance the needs of the welfare of the animal and the safety of kennel staff. The long established, licensed and accredited kennel in question was in agreement with our assessment. The dog has had continual kennel enrichment with staff and remained in fine and fit condition throughout.

“The Court have heard and accepted evidence from the police and independently appointed animal behaviourists that Stella has unpredictable and dangerous behaviour patterns. 

"This dog has threatened and shown aggressive behaviour towards two Police Community Support Officers.  There were also occasions where Stella showed aggressive behaviour prior to being seized, which were fully described in Court.  Stella then attempted to bite a Court appointed independent expert during the dog’s assessment. 

“Presented with all the facts, the Court decided that the dog was so dangerous that the only option was for Stella to be destroyed.

“The length of this criminal case is extremely rare. None of the adjournments were requested or caused by Devon and Cornwall Police.” 


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