For the second time in less then 2 years an illegal dog has been seized from a Plymouth woman. The police raid came following allegations that the dog had bitten a member of the public and complaints from the public that the animal was suspected of being a Pit bull and was often out and unattended on the street. Tests following the seizure confirmed the dog as a Pit Bull. In 2010 a Staffordshire Bull Terrier owned by the same woman attacked a female police officer leaving her with bite marks to the stomach and arms and requiring three hours of surgery. Although not illegal the Staffordshire was deemed to be aggressive. The police have powers to enter properties and seize suspected dangerous dogs and to keep and if necessary destroy seized animals. The police stated that it was obvious the woman had not learnt and deemed her an irresponsible dog owner noting that she had no fencing round her garden. They confirmed they would be taking proceedings against her and that ownership of "status" dogs such as the Pit Bull would not be tolerated. They also confirmed that they were seeing a rise in the popularity and use of these types of dogs. Pit Bulls are one of a small list of dogs banned by the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act and can only be owned if added to the Index of Exempted Dogs following a Court Order. To be on the index the dogs must be kept in a secured place to prevent escape and insured against injuring third parties. If the dog is insured then the possibility of recovering compensation following a personal injury claim is greatly increased. The dogs must also be neutered, tattooed, microchipped, kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in a public place.
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