Fifty police officers and 19 RSPCA inspectors were involved in early morning raids on houses in the Firthmoor area of Darlington, County Durham, acting on warrants issued on suspicion of animal cruelty.That’s some operation! What was it based on?
There have been a series of reports from local people of cats and other animals being chased by dogs in an apparently systematic manner.Ah! Well, good for them.
For once, this is the sort of action we expect from the police whose wages we pay, and the RSPCA whose wages we often also pay, albeit inadvertently:
Durham deputy chief constable Michael Banks said: "We are committed to protecting our rural communities and tackling rural crime. Animal welfare is an issue at the heart of those communities and we hope that this morning's raids reassure people that activities involving animal cruelty will not be tolerated." The RSPCA's chief inspector, Mark Gent, said: "I hope this sends a message to anyone involved in this kind of deliberate, abhorrent cruelty."On the other hand, if it’s just one incident, then ‘Meh! Go see a solicitor, we’re not interested…’:
James Zammit heard barking coming from his garden in Bromley Common and when he went outside he saw two big Alsatians. He says one of them had his 10-year-old moggy Sock in its mouth.
Mr Zammit said: “The cat was dead and they were still mauling it and I threw a plank of wood at them to stop them.
“I saw the owner of the dogs and I told him what I thought of him and I phoned the police and they said it is a private matter.
“ I'm fuming and what has really annoyed me is the police saying I’ll have to take civil action.”I guess they didn't get the memo about animal cruelty not being tolerated…
Or perhaps this doesn't count because you aren't part of a ‘rural community’?
A police spokesman said: “We were called on November 7 at 12.35pm by a man advising us that two Alsatians had entered his garden and killed his cat before running off.
"Unfortunately, as the incident occurred in a private premises, this is not covered by criminal law relating to dangerous dogs.
“It is important however to remember that victims can seek redress through the civil courts.
“This was obviously a very upsetting incident and we would remind dog owners of their responsibilities to control their animals. “It is not right that other peoples loved pets are being killed in this way."It’s not right, but you aren't going to do anything about it. Even though, as a commenter points out, you can if you want to:
All too often the Police fob people off with 'it is a civil matter'. it isn't Section (3) of the Dangerous Dogs act says If the owner or, if different, the person for the time being in charge of a dog allows it to enter a place which is not a public place but where it is not permitted to be and while it is there— . (a)it injures any person; or . (b)there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that it will do so, . he is guilty of an offence, or, if the dog injures any person, an aggravated offence, under this subsection. fair to assume that it could, by its action attack a child. The dog wasn't under control. Go back to the police and complain that they are not acting as they should. (If the police can charge a man who ate a coppers sandwich while waiting to help on an ID parade, they can act in this case)Perhaps if you claim the dogs urinated on a poppy in your garden as well, you’ll see some police action, Mr Zammit? Or you could move to Florida? They don't mess about there!