Wednesday 17 January 2018

Woman complains of 'cruel dog wardens' as family pet is seized after waiting '20 seconds outside supermarket'

Bella the King Charles Cavalier and her owner Lauren
Bella the King Charles Cavalier and her owner Lauren

Sasha Brady

A dog-owner has complained that the family pet was seized by dog wardens after he was spotted tied to a rail outside her local supermarket.

Carol said the incident took place over the weekend when her husband took the dog on a walk to their local supermarket in Skerries, County Dublin to buy a newspaper.

"This little one has arthritis in her lower back so she doesn't do the big runs that she used to do," she told RTE's Liveline.

Carol said her husband tied the dog to the railings with her lead - something they didn't realise was illegal at the time - because he knew he wouldn't be too long inside the shop. He was just there to get the dog out of the house for a short walk and to collect the newspaper.

"He was not even 20 seconds inside the shop when a woman ran in to inform him that two men in a white van took the dog," his wife said.

A passer-by with his son took her husband in their car and tried to follow the van but they were unable to track it.

Carol visited the ship to see if they could view the CCTV footage they had. When they examined it they saw that her husband had just walked away from the dog when the unmarked white transit van had pulled up.

The woman said the family feared that Bella the dog had been snatched.

dog1.png
Bella

Her daughter started a Facebook campaign to find the missing King Charles Cavalier and eventually someone got in touch to say that the it's possible the family pet was taken by dog wardens as they had been spotted in the area that day.

They called the local dog pound and were informed that a dog was in their possession who matched Bella's description.

"We told them that her name was Bella and she had a name tag around her neck but they just told us to present ourselves at the pound [the following day]. All they'd confirm is that they'd seized a dog outside a supermarket," said Carol.

The family was asked to visit the pound between 9am and 1pm or between 2 and 5pm to confirm it's their dog and pay the fine.

Carol said that Bella was "visibly distressed" about being stuck in the pound overnight.

"We couldn't see her as we walked along the line. I looked in her kennel and couldn't see her. I eventually looked down and she was cowering in the corner but we couldn't take her until we did the paperwork.

"Eventually we paid a €100 fine for the dog being unattended and €20 for her overnight board."

She said the dog was "soaked in her own urine" and complained that the manner in which she had been taken was "cruel".

The family are trying to raise awareness that it's illegal to tie your dog up outside the shops as it's something they see occur very often.

"She has a name-tag, she's chipped, she has all of her vaccinations. As best as we can, we're responsible dog owners," said Carol.

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