Outraged owner calls for reform after her pet is seized for looking like a “dangerous dog”

dangerous dogs act petition set up by UK pet owner
(Image credit: Facebook / Loved Lola)

More than 50,000 people have signed a petition for the law surrounding dangerous dogs to be changed. 

In 2019, police took Anita Medhi’s 18-month-old American Bulldog/Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross on the basis that it looked like one of the four banned breeds, according to the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act. This UK Act includes Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas, Fila Brasileiros and Dogo Argentinos.

"On August 14th, 2019, my precious Lola was seized by the police, someone had reported her as a vicious Pit Bull," Medhi wrote in an emotional Facebook post. 

"She was taken from the house, put in a cage in the back of a police van and driven away. I was not allowed to know where she was going, not told if I would get her back and not allowed to give them any of her food, bed, toys or even a blanket with our scent on. To say I was hysterical is not a strong enough praise for how I coped."

It wasn’t until a court ruling that deemed Medhi’s pooch, named Lola, posed no threat that she could be returned home on the exemption index.

However, because Lola shared similar traits of a Pit Bull terrier, she was forced to wear a muzzle and lead at all times when outside, something that Medhi has labelled as “dog racism” for making negative assumptions based on the way her canine looks.

This experience led to Lola’s owner setting up a petition, calling on Government ministers to change the law so that dog’s are judged on their behaviour and not their looks.

“Lola was proven in court to be a well-balanced, lovely dog that has no risk to the public, there is no reason to have restrictions on her”, explained Medhi.

The date 12 August 2021 marks 30 years since the Act came into force.

DEFRA - the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs responded: “Dog attacks can have horrific consequences… any dog has the potential to be dangerously out of control and therefore it is important that the police and the courts are able to employ a range of measures to limit the risks to public safety.”

Chloe Petrylak

Chloe is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, who has more than ten years’ experience in creating animal-focussed content. From National Geographic to Animal Planet, Chloe’s passion for creating fact-filled features all about wildlife and the environment is evident. But it’s not just wild animals that Chloe’s fascinated by. Having written more than 75 articles for PetsRadar - and having her very own four-legged friend by her side - it’s no wonder that her love of dogs (and, of course, cats) has grown exponentially.  

Her website, www.chloemaywrites.com, and social media pages - @ChloeMayWrites on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - showcase her knowledge through daily facts and trivia tidbits. For example, did you know that snails have teeth?!