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Local Press Dog Campaign - Owners Living In Fear

The Liverpool Echo is running a campaign to coincide with the controversial dog amnesty to encourage people to contact the authorities if they suspect a neighbour to be keeping an illegal dog.

The campaign, which has been slammed by nearly all animal welfare groups as being a catch all, knee jerk reaction which lets dogs take the punishment for the actions of criminals who import banned breeds, has been put in place as a reaction to dog bite incidents in the Merseyside area, compounded by the death of Ellie Lawrenson on New Year's day in St. Helens.

A 31 year old woman rang K9 Magazine earlier today to ask for our help, as she believed her neighbours were starting a whispering campaign about her and her Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

The woman, from Maghull on Merseyside, asked not to be named in order to not draw attention to herself, told us.

"I bought the dog from a breeder, it is registered with the Intercontinental Kennel Club, has all the vaccinations and is only 11 weeks old. I've only just started taking her out for walks, but now I daren't as I worry that she may be taken from me and destroyed.

I am an experienced dog owner, I have a Golden Retriever as well as my Staffy and have them both well trained. I don't know what to do, whether to muzzle her to send out a message of being responsible, but I am worried that this will draw attention to her. I'm going to get her microchipped tomorrow, but am worried about being out in public with her.

I bought this dog specifically for my son, who loves the breed. She is gentle, very submissive to my other dog and my family, but because her father was quite a big example of his breed, I'm scared that she will be too and could mistakenly come under the Pit Bull Terrier type umbrella".

Many fear that the dog amnesty may bring death to more family pets than illegal dogs, whilst dog professionals in the area are concerned that rumours of the amnesty applying to any large or 'fierce' looking dog during the week it is in force, may be true.


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