A response to the council update on Hank

Here is an updated report BCC posted on their page:

http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/News/News-69379.aspx

After Pixie woke me up in the early hours for the loo, I wrote this comment…which they will probably never, ever read 😛

I understand Hank needs to undergo an assessment to establish if you think he is ‘of type’, but what I can’t understand is the way you’ve gone about this. My biggest issues are as follows:

– Hank was taken without his owners present, and you hadn’t made contact with them

– He was taken by a large number of strangers

– He has been kenneled and wasn’t walked for almost two weeks; it’s great you are walking him now (although the ‘trying’ to walk him daily makes me suspicious) but surely you can understand how incredibly stressful it is to take a dog from a loving home and lock him in a kennel, where he is irregularly walked and spends most his time alone

– The assessment to determine if he is ‘aggressive’ is taking place when Hank is extremely scared and stressed. 

You say “Hank is being well looked after, and his medical and dietary needs are continuing to be met“, which shows a real lack of understanding to me. The dietary side of things is unimportant compared to his mental needs, and frequent vet visits will only stress him out further. What Hank needs is someone to gain his trust (ie. daily visits, sitting nearby and throwing treats until he is comfortable, daily cuddles, walks, play) and spend time with him; he needs love.

I do not understand how you think assessing his behaviour is at all fair when you have taken him from his home and kept him in such conditions – can’t you understand he is used to walks, love and attention? Can you see the difference in how he is kept now, and why a kennel environment would be so scary to him?

I have two rescue dogs, both are fearful, both have been abused. My oldest, a Collie cross, used to be extremely scared of strangers, but after many years of work he is wonderful now. However if you were to come into the home when we were not there he would be petrified – barking and growling. If you took him and locked him somewhere he didn’t know, then yes he could easily appear aggressive.

The assessment should very much have taken place with Hank at home, where he has the best chance of showing his true colours. I walk dogs in rescue, and so many of them seem aggressive in the kennel environment, but away from all the stress and especially in new homes, their real personalities shine and they are wonderful, loving, friendly dogs.

I also note this chunk of text you have written: “Some coverage of this case has omitted any reference to the behavioral part of the assessment, creating the impression that finding that Hank is a pit bull terrier type will inevitably result in him having to be euthanised.

This however is not the case. Since an exemption scheme became available, the council has been able to return ten out of the eleven dogs it has found to be pit bull types to their owner, under appropriate conditions sanctioned by the courts.

It is my thinking that places aren’t mentioning the potential for Hank be released because they understand how unlikely this is. Not only is Hank’s case similar to Lennox’s (who was euthanised) but you have already described Hank as ‘aggressive’, which hints you have already made up your mind.

I’m not sure why I’ve written all this as it’s highly unlikely you will be bothered to read it and even more unlikely you will actually think about what I’ve written or respond…but what else would I do when my 8 month old foster girl woke me up at 1.30am to go to the loo?!

Little extra added comment:

Also, if Hank is being so well looked after and his owners are not allowed to see him, can you not send them photos of Hank? If you have nothing to hide that would only be fair, as they are missing their beloved pet an incredible amount.

As for Pixie…I REALLY wish she would ever go to the toilet when she wasn’t bursting >__<

The only time she will go to the loo is when she is incredibly desperate, which means you can walk her at 8pm and 10.30pm, and she won’t go to the loo because she’s not bursting.

She’ll then wake you up around 1-3am because guess what? She didn’t go to the loo before bed and so desperately needs a pee, aaaagh!!

All fun and games *sigh* 😉

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2 thoughts on “A response to the council update on Hank

    • It’s incredibly sad, and seems like no matter how many people fight for Hank or how many experts stand up for him…the council just don’t care. Really hoping for a different outcome for Hank…it’s like we’ve learnt nothing since Lennox 😦

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