Saturday, 14 April 2012

Staffies 1 - Liars 0

A few weeks ago, we had the misfortune of meeting a lady with a Cocker Spaniel puppy..and it didn't go very well. The police were involved and we were accused of having dangerous dogs. It was the most stressful time of my life. 

Below is my statement to the police about the incident:
On the 5th of March, i went out for a walk with my two dogs around 5pm at the common.
We met a lady with a Spaniel puppy. The puppy saw us from far and started barking. The bark sounded strange and more like a cry. It was loud. 
When one of my dogs, Peanut Butter approached the puppy, the puppy ran away and I told the lady "I better get my dog away". The lady replied "It's ok, I want my dog to socialise with other dogs". 
I let Peanut play with the puppy while I threw sticks for my other dog, Buddy. Peanut normally enjoys playing with other dogs while Buddy prefers sticks.  
While playing with Buddy, the puppy kept barking and kept running up to Buddy who didn't want to play with it. Buddy barked at it and told it to go away. When i pulled Buddy away from the puppy, the lady said "It's ok."  
The puppy ran up to us a few more times barking at Buddy who was playing fetch with me. 
Buddy got annoyed and told the puppy off again. I went up to them and tried to get Buddy away but the puppy would just run over to us again.  
I told the lady to put her puppy on the lead while I distracted buddy with a stick  as it was upsetting him but she refused and her dog kept jumping on him. 
It was very hard to put my dog on the lead when the puppy kept coming up to us and kept barking. I was trying to put my dog on the lead but it was hard with her dog jumping on me and my dog while i was trying to do this. 
Buddy had enough and pinned it down and rubbed his muzzle on the puppy's tummy, Peanut has gone to do something else, when the fight started she started to bark. 
That lasted a few seconds before the lady then realised it's not a friendly play and stuck her hand between the two of them to try to separate them. 
I managed to pull Buddy away and put him on the lead and Peanut as well. She put her dog on the lead and showed me her hand that was bleeding and said it was my dog. 
I am not sure if Buddy has bitten her as she put her hand between her puppy and Buddy.
I asked if she was alright. She didn't reply and she walked away with her dog on the lead. 
I checked Buddy to see if there was any blood but couldn't see anything. I specifically checked his mouth and there was no blood there either.

That cry was so loud, one of my neighbours who lives down the road could hear it. 

I went home to tell my husband what happened. We went out to check if the lady was still there but she was gone.

The next day, her husband came to our house with a big stick. About 6ft long. He knew where we lived because he asked my neighbour, the one that heard that horrible cry. He asked my neighbour what kind of people we are and if the dogs are dangerous. My neighbour said we're nice people and the dogs are not dangerous. He told her that his dog has been injured and he is a farmer and he has land all over but he's not going to get the police involved. He also mentioned that the vet fees would cost £400. 

My neighbour thought it was strange that he had to mention that he has land all over! So did we!

Anyway, he came over and said Buddy had injured his puppy and it is now in serious condition - his spleen had been ruptured and it would cost £400. My husband told him what happened, ie. his wife wanted his dog to socialise with ours (she didn't tell the farmer that!). The farmer said, that sounds like his wife and it sounds like six to one and half a dozen to the other. We even let him meet the dogs. They came out and had a sniff at the farmer and walked straight back into the house. If they could speak, i think they would have gone "Meh..".  He said that they don't seem dangerous. My husband asked for his details and asked him to update us. He said he knew where we lived so he would come round if he needs to. 

We did feel sorry that the puppy was injured and we had a discussion and thought that even though we didn't think Buddy was fully responsible, we would pay some money towards the fee. 

Next day, the police came knocking on my door!! I was alone... I invited them in. I shouldn't have.. but I didn't know why I did! 

One of the policemen asked me to tell him what happened and I told him. I shall now copy the letter of complaint that I have written just to save myself from typing it out again!

Letter of Complaint to Police:

On Wednesday 7th March 2012 at around 1930hrs, Officer Dixon (PC Number xxxx) visited my house with his partner regarding an incident relating to my dogs. He did not give me his name and asked if I was alone. I said yes and he came in with his partner. 
Officer Dixon asked me to tell him what happened and after I did so, accused me of "messing about" and told me I wasn't telling the truth. He said there had also been complaints about my dogs being out of control, yet when I asked from whom he changed the subject. To clarify, we have never been informed of any complaints made about our dogs, and I found this allegation confusing and intimidating. I told him he could ask our neighbours or any dog walkers in the area and they would tell him that our dogs are not aggressive or dangerous. Officer Dixon told me he didn't care what they thought. 
I then asked if we could talk at the police station as my husband wasn't present and I was uncomfortable being alone with them. He refused and said he had to talk to me now. I called my husband who stayed on the line while Officer Dixon questioned me. My husband had a short conversation with Officer Dixon in another room while I told Officer Dixon's partner what happened again. 
Officer Dixon then returned and asked more questions. I told him what I knew and he went on to threaten me with arrest, repeating that I wasn't telling the truth and that I was "obstructing the investigation". 
I asked for his name and number and his response was: "We will come back to that later". He then asked for my name and I said I wasn't comfortable and felt threatened and intimidated by his behaviour. I asked them to leave my house and requested that we talk outside. I also said that I would like to get one of my neighbours to be present with me. This was ignored and when I opened the door, he turned to his partner and said twice "Shall we get her in?" I was very scared and went back into the house. 
He then asked for my name again and warned that if I don't give him this information he would arrest me. I gave him my name and details and Officer Dixon gave me his number after that. He also said he will call me and have a meeting sometime next week after his holiday. 
Officer Dixon then warned me and said I must put my dogs on the lead when I'm out with them. I said yes but he kept repeating it many times as if I didn't understand him. He then left with his partner. 
I would like to know why PC Dixon treated me in such a manner. I can't help but wonder whether, had my White British husband been at home at that time, he would have behaved very differently. 
I want you to know that I am not happy with the way I was treated. It appears that Officer Dixon had reached his own conclusions regarding the incident before hearing my version of events, and was not at all interested in what I had to say. His intimidating behaviour meant that I did not feel safe in my own home and when I requested for someone else to be present I was threatened with arrest. I was afraid that Officer Dixon would arrest me for telling the truth. 
I am very disappointed that police officers such as Officer Dixon are able to behave this way, act in a threatening manner toward a woman in her own home and refuse to let her have anyone with her when she asks. I was brought up to trust and respect authority, but after this incident I do not feel as though I can ever trust the Police again. I am utterly appalled by this experience, and so are my family and friends. 
I look forward to your reply about this matter. 

Officer Dixon asked me and my husband, (over the phone) why there were bite marks all over the puppy.  They wanted me to explain that. I said I couldn't because I didn't see Buddy bite the puppy and there wasn't any blood! I was quite agitated and I could have sworn at Officer Dixon but I was biting my tongue really hard! My husband was worried I would do that! Anyway, my husband asked what had caused the dog's death. Officer Dixon said death had been caused through bites. If you have been paying attention, you would have remembered the farmer said it was ruptured spleen! My husband told him what the farmer said and Officer Dixon, sounding like a total idiot said, "Well bite marks and ruptured spleen then!". My husband asked for a vet's report and Officer Dixon asked if he was joking. "Of course not!,  my husband said. It's a piece of evidence!

Officer Dixon also said, while pointing at Peanut Butter, that she had bitten the owner! It's not possible! She wasn't involved! But he insisted she did! 

The day after the police came, I went round the common where we normally walk our dogs and asked everyone who knows my dogs if they could sign a petition to say that our dogs have never been aggressive towards them or their dogs. Everyone was appalled to hear how the police have threatened me and didn't believe that Buddy would kill a puppy.

I also called the Equality and Human Rights Commission and asked if it was possible that PC Dixon was racist or sexist. As he didn't say it out loud that he was treating me badly because I'm Chinese or a woman, I couldn't. If I could get him to admit that, then I would be able to bring him to court.

I also emailed Wendy from Staffy Hub and asked for some advice.

There are only 4 reasons as to why PC Dixon would treat me this way:
1. He is racist.
2. He is sexist.
3. He knows the farmer.
4. He is an idiot. 

A few days after the complaint was made, we had a meeting with Officer Dixon's Sergeant to tell her what had happened. As this is not a serious case, ie. I wasn't assaulted by the police, it can only be dealt locally. She has since gave him "strong management advice" and has asked another officer to investigate the case regarding our dogs. 

This officer, after a few days of investigation invited me to go to the police station to give my statement. I had to do it in the custody suite as the other questioning rooms at the reception area were full. They even recorded the session on CASSETTE tapes (i didn't know they still use them!) so somewhere in a dark room at the West Yorkshire Police, there are two tapes with my name on them!

I told them what happened and they asked me a few How do I normally control my dogs, do you think Buddy could have killed the puppy? Are your dogs insured?

I did say that the Puppy sounded strange and it was like crying.. and it could have already been injured and Buddy was the one that dealt the final blow. The lady could have been bitten by Buddy or by her own dog..but if Buddy did, he didn't do it intentionally as she stuck her hands between the two dogs. Also, I checked Buddy's mouth and there wasn't any blood. My dogs are insured, chipped, spayed and neutered. 

The officer then told me what the lady said...which annoyed me but I stayed calm.

She said that she asked if her puppy could play with Peanut and Buddy and if our dogs are alright. I said yes. She said that Buddy suddenly snapped and had the puppy by it's neck and swung him violently. She asked me to put Buddy on the lead but I did nothing. She said she didn't want to go home with a dead dog so she had to do something. While trying to get her dog away from Buddy, Buddy bit her. She put her dog on the lead and I walked away with my dogs and continued to throw them sticks.

Here are reasons why it's obvious she's lying!

1. If Buddy had the puppy by its neck and swung him violently, the puppy would have been bleeding and would have died! Its neck would have been broken!

2. It is not possible to get the puppy away from Buddy if he had it by the neck! His jaws are strong! I can never get a stick off him unless he drops it! See proof below!

3. There would have been blood all over Buddy's mouth!

The officers then read me the vet's report. There wasn't any punctured wounds on the puppy. It has internal injuries that is consistent with being shaken violently.  I told the officers that if Buddy had done that, there would have been blood and one of them agreed with me.

You would think that the story would end here.. but there is more!

Apparently, there is also a complaint about Peanut Butter being out of control. According to the statement by another dog owner (the police gave me his name, Mr D. Winterburn who owns a Kings Charles Spaniel and a Collie cross with Alsatian). In Jan 2012, Peanut ran up to the Spaniel and had a go at it. He had to use his legs to kick Peanut away. He came over to me and asked me to put her on the lead and I just smiled at him!

WTF? This didn't happen! I asked when this was and the officer said it wasn't mentioned. I asked if he said it was definitely me he talked to,because if it did happen, he could have spoken to my MIL or my husband. The officer said it was me. If this did happen, I would definitely remember Peanut being kicked! Also if it had happened on a weekday, it could not have been me, as I can't walk the dogs on a weekday in Jan because it was still dark when I got up and it will be dark when I get home so normally my husband walks them during the weekday!

I had a suspicion who this person was but thought I must have got it wrong because why would this person accuse me when he himself has TWO CRAZY DANGEROUS DOGS! One of his dogs is nicknamed Mad Max by dog walkers here and there is a reason why he's called MAD MAX!

I then gave the officer my petition, consisting of 32, yes 32(!!), signatures and asked if he would talk to these people since he has talked to one person who had apparently, lied, and said my dogs are dangerous. He said he would if he needs to.

The interview took 45min!

I came home and asked my neighbour, if Mad Max's owner's name is Mr. D. Winterburn and she said yes! OH!! That annoyed me, it did! How dare he! One of his dogs had had a go at Peanut Butter before! I would never let my dogs be near them! I would always wait till they are gone before I let my dogs out or walk in the opposite direction. So why would I let Peanut go out when he is out?!?!?!

We have had no other troubles with them before. In fact, we helped them TWICE! Mad Max has twice got out of his house and was roaming around outside. We had to bring him back! 

My lovely neighbour came over and gave us a list of people and dogs who has been attacked by his dogs before! So far there are 10 on the list! She also thinks that Mr D. Winterburn knows the lady. 

The day after the interview, the police called at 10.30pm and said no action will be taken against us as there are no witnesses and they can't prove who's right or wrong. He said I gave a good account (ahem!) and told us to be careful in future and thanked us for the assistance. I think the lady shot herself in the leg when she said that Buddy had the puppy by its neck and swung him violently!

I am so glad this is finally over. It took about a month to get this sorted!

I have been wondering why Mr. D. Winterburn would say that Peanut had a go at his dog and not Buddy. I can only think of one reason, the lady wanted to get both dogs into trouble. First she told Officer Dixon that Peanut bit her and then she changed her story and said Buddy bit her.

It is now my mission to spread the news of what Mr. D. Winterburn has done. Apparently, it is already on the dog grapevine. Everyone who has met them or have had their dogs attacked by his dogs were disgusted to hear what he did! 

I am so glad that I have got the support of fellow dog walkers and staffy lovers!

I think another reason that Officer Dixon treated me badly and reached the conclusion that my dogs are dangerous is because my dogs are Staffies!

Unfortunately in recent years, Staffies have become the dog weapon of choice by yobs. They currently get a very hard press. This is unfair because they are great dogs! 

Staffies need as many people as possible to stand up for them! They are brilliant with children, hence the name "The Nanny Dog". My neighbours who have a 2 year old son are always happy to let him meet our dogs obviously with of us keeping an eye on things! 

If you came here, looking for dangerous Staffy stories, I do not have one for you. If you came here wanting to know more about Staffies, or a thinking of adopting a dog, I will recommend a Staffy to you. They are brilliant and if I ever want another dog, it will be a Staffy for me. Also, don't buy one, adopt one. There are too many Staffies needing a home out there. If you do want to buy one, check the breeder!

Thank you for reading this long story. Remember, Staffies are not dangerous! The owners are!

Places to go to if you want to adopt/foster a Staffy:

3. Staffy Hub (Twitter: @Staffy_Hub)
4. Staffie Rescue (Twitter: @Staffierescue)

These are the few that I know of. There are also many dog rescue places. You can find them on Google.

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