XL Bully dog puppy 'wrongly killed' by police as official complaint lodged

XL Bully dog puppy 'wrongly killed' by police as official complaint lodged

WATCH: XL Bully dogs with exemption certificates

Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 16/03/2024

- 16:56

Police are accused of failing to follow proper procedure by a vet

Police have been accused of wrongly killing an XL Bully dog puppy after it was handed in to a rescue centre.

Devon Police have been accused of destroying the animal without following proper legal process, with a vet now having launched a formal complaint against the force.

Sharon Williams, who runs Celandine Wood Animal Rescue in Wirral, Merseyside, says she was denied the opportunity to save the dog via an exemption certificate.

Celandine Wood Animal Rescue took in the eight month old pup, called Esco, and rehomed the dog before the ban on ownership of the breed came into place.

XL Bully dog

The XL Bully dog was put down without the proper permission (stock image)


Esco was then handed in to a secure centre called Animals in Distress in Devon.

It is thought that the centre contacted the police in a bid to find out if the pup was an XL Bully dog.

One week later, the animal was seized by the police and put down, according to The i newspaper.

Williams had been hoping to take back Esco to her Celandine Wood Animal Rescue in order to save the dog.

According to the Dangerous Dogs Act, no dog should be put down without a disclaimer from the owner or a magistrates court destruction order.

She said that when she asked the police if they had the necessary paperwork: "The sergeant verbally told me that he didn’t have time to follow up information on dogs and that he had too many dogs and too high a work load.

"It was very apparent that he had done no due diligence to provide this dog with any options."

Williams now fears the XL Bully was destroyed illegally.

A spokesperson for Devon Police said: “We have received a complaint which is currently waiting to be reviewed and therefore it would not be appropriate to comment at this time.”

Nearly 40,000 XL Bully dogs are thought to still be on Britain’s streets despite a ban on the breed being introduced.

Since February 1 it has been illegal to own an XL Bully unless the dog was registered in advance.

According to the banned breeds register, some 38,424 dogs were granted the £92 exemption to avoid being put down.

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