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Owner claims seized dog not a pitbull

Kash, who was seized by wardens

A distraught dog owner has described the moment that she found out her beloved pet had been seized by the animal wardens as “my worst nightmare”.

Angela James insists her dog, Kash, is not a pitbull or any other banned breed and told The Royal Gazette she was devastated he could now be euthanised.

Last night, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection confirmed the dog had been seized because it was determined to be the product of illegal breeding.

“The legality of the animal is determined by whether it is the product of a licensed breeding, and dogs that are the product of an illegal breeding are subject to seizure regardless of the breed,” the spokesman added.

Ms James, who owns the dog with Tishae Davis, told The Royal Gazette that she had been at work yesterday morning when she received a phone call saying that Kash had been taken from her home.

The care giver claims that animal wardens then attended her workplace and told her the dog would be euthanized because it was a pitbull. Ms James admitted that the dog was not licensed, but she maintained that Kash was not a pitbull but a fox terrier-English Staffordshire terrier mix and she had no idea he was illegally bred.

“It’s just so sad,” she told The Royal Gazette. “I can not believe this has happened.

“He is a very loving, caring dog. In my mind he is not a banned breed because I always believed him to be a fox terrier-English Staffordshire terrier mix. Ms James, who lives in Pembroke, said that she had not licensed Kash because he was microchipped and registered with a vet.

She added: “It just does not seem fair. I have not been hiding him away; people and police officers have seen me out walking him and nothing has been done.

“Now all of a sudden he has been taken from me and it looks like he’s going to be put down.

“Whether or not Kash does have a trace of pitbull in him, it does not seem fair for him to be taken away from the home that he knows and the people that love him in this manner. It’s just not right. I have had him since he was given to me as a puppy just over a year ago.”

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection said animal wardens were called by police to attend a Pembroke residence yesterday where an “illegal pitbull-type dog” was found and subsequently seized.

He added: “The animal’s age was estimated to be between one and two years old; certainly born long after 2003 when the prohibition on breeding pitbull-type dogs was implemented.

“Further inquiries revealed that the animal bore a microchip that was not registered with Animal Control and the animal was not licensed.

“An owner was identified, who debated the breed of the animal. The breed of the animal is not the offence in law.

“Blood tests mentioned by the owner in this case, will not right the wrong of illegal breeding.

“The Department doesn’t conduct blood tests to determine dog breeds; it is estimated based on physical characteristics of the dog and the decades of experience of the wardens involved. Given the illegality of the dog, court action is anticipated.

“The public is once again reminded to obtain only dogs that come with a valid licence, adopted from the SPCA or legitimately imported. Following the law would avoid these situations which are difficult on all persons involved.”