TYSONS STORY. THE CAMPAIGN.
Are dogs safe during the seizing by police?
In most cases the answer is simply yes. BUT, there are occasions it can go wrong, badly badly wrong. Especially when there is a lack of training of equipment issued and used.
The photo above shows Tysons damaged ear after he was set in fire. He also sustained injuries to his left shoulder and leg.
On the 17th May 2017, Three Police officers accompanied by two dog handlers arrived at the home of Tyson’s family with a warrant and opened the front door to the property, without entering fully one of the officers called out to see if anyone was home. At the time only the young daughter aged 17 years old and the families then ten-month-old dog Tyson were at home. Tyson as any family dog would do, ran down the stairs, jumping up at the slightly opened door and barking at what he would have felt was the intruder holding the front door ajar with his foot, who was now calling for someone to come and remove Tyson to another room.
At the time the daughter of the family complied with the police request and put Tyson in the back garden in order for her to talk to them. The police then went into the kitchen of the property where they could observe Tyson through the patio doors and decided they felt he was a pit bull type. After several failed attempts to get him using the catchpole through a slightly open door, they decided to close the patio door and stand in the kitchen whilst they asked the daughter to help.
Unbeknown to the police, Tyson could open doors and did so with the patio doors entering the kitchen barking and growling. The police retreated from the property, going to their vehicle and came back wearing protective suits, armed with an aerosol of bite back spray. This usually subdues dogs but had no effect on Tyson. The decision was then made to deploy the Animal Control Shield and a larger canister of bite back.
They sprayed him again and he banged into the shield prompting them to activate the electrical current which sparked and reacted to the butane in the bite back causing Tyson to catch alight to his left side, neck, and face.
One of the dog handlers had to then pour a bowl of water which had been left in the kitchen sink onto him, which did not extinguish the flames, whilst the other dog handler filled a pan with water and threw this over him. Tyson, understandably hysterical and traumatized ran off and crashed into a table containing alcohol that fell and spilled luckily not onto Tyson, as alcohol being flammable could have made the circumstances much worse than they already were.
The police have admitted this were their fault as they did not know the bite back contained butane gas and that they had not received any training in the use of bite back, yet, in the Manual of Guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs Council it says DO NOT use near an electric shield. The effects of which left Tyson both traumatized and stressed. And as a result, Tyson had been confined to his kennel and a small run for 18 months with no exercise as he was in Fidget mode (avoidance) too afraid to allow anyone near him. Resulting in growling and backing off refusing to engage with the people meant to care for him.
Under section 9.2(e) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 (AWA 2006) Duty of person responsible for animal to ensure welfare. (2) For the purposes of this Act, an animal's needs shall be taken to include - (e) its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury, and disease.By keeping Tyson held in his kennel for the period of 18 months, without seeking any help from a behavioural expert or veterinary care to his injuries, the lack of exercise is surely a breach of the Act.
The police said at court they had been unable to interact with Tyson or enter his kennel due to him behaving aggressively and charging the door, however an independent assessment of Tyson by Mike Barnett of Orion Dog Services accompanied by Debbie Connolly shown on video in court showed that Tyson indeed did not want to interact and was subdued. However Mr Barnett was able to enter the kennel without being attacked, instead Tyson retreated away acting in Flight mode.
Another important factor, in this case, was the owners daughter rang her mum who was at work at the time the police arrived. And She explained she would come straight home to help get Tyson in the van which was ignored by the officer on the telephone and that information not passed on to the two dog handlers present. It is the belief of the family that this would have made a huge difference. But they, the Police would not wait instead of choosing to proceed.
The police also admitted in court, there had never been any complaints about Tyson prior to him being seized regards his behaviour or welfare, nor had the family ever been brought to the attention of the police as they are good standing citizens.
On the 16th November 2018, Tyson was given a destruction order at Birmingham Crown Court. On the 28th November the sum of £180.00 was paid over to West Midlands Police for the cremation of Tyson. Sadly it was not until another six weeks the owner was notified that Tyson’s ashes were ready.
Tysons Petition is on Change.orgA call to parliament to pass a law for better welfare standards for care of seized dogs and better police training.
Please sign the petition.