Outrage as young puppies put down under Dangerous Dogs Act

Cardiff Dogs Home found themselves at the centre of controversy last week following the news that three healthy puppies in their care had been put to sleep. It is understood that the puppies, named Samson, Daisy and Coco, were identified by a Dog Legislation Officer (DLO) as being ‘Pit Bull type’, and, since they had been found straying, had no owner to make an appeal and were immediately seized.


It is thought that the puppies were only 12 weeks old, making them too young to be ‘typed’ since the guidelines used in the identification of Pit Bull types are entirely based upon physical characteristics of an adult dog. With descriptions such as “height to weight ratio should be in proportion” and “the head should be around 2/3 width of shoulders” (Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales & Northern Ireland, 2009), it seems impossible that the DLO involved at Cardiff Dogs Home was able to make an accurate assessment;

“Dogs that are classed as dangerous due to type only and are too young to be accurately assessed must be subject to a DLO examination to determine whether they should remain with the owner until such a time that they can be accurately assessed (usually 9 months of age).” (Kent Police, 2013).

An informal statement was issued on December 13 and can be seen on the Cardiff Council website;

“We are aware of the negative publicity regarding the 3 pups that have been put to sleep at Cardiff’s Dogs Home. They have been positively classed as pit bull type by a qualified Dog Liaison Officer. This breed is unable to be re-homed by the Local Authority under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1990. The Dog’s Home has to adhere by the law and we are sending a very strong message out to indiscriminate breeders to stop what they are doing, the law is in place for a very good reason and it is with deep regret that we have to carry out such acts.”

Do indiscriminate breeders really care about the ‘message’ conveyed by putting puppies to sleep? Those breeding illegal dogs for financial or personal gain have little interest in the welfare of the puppies produced, especially since many are destined for the cruel world of dog fighting. It is unrealistic, and rather naive, to suggest that ending the lives of three healthy puppies will stop anyone involved in illegal activity to “stop what they are doing”. Since the euthanasia of the dogs did not make headlines, their deaths went unnoticed by the majority of the public, including those who produced them. The only people affected by this outcome are the staff and volunteers at Cardiff Dogs Home who had no choice but to hand over the puppies, who they had looked after since their arrival, knowing that their fate had been sealed. It is a shame that the spokesperson decided to add that “the law is in place for a very good reason”, despite not being able to correctly refer to the law as the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

It has already been established that the dogs were too young to be assessed. It is likely that many young puppies are rehomed each year as ‘Staffordshire Bull Terriers’ yet grow into a dog with a number of characteristics matching those of a Pit Bull type; it is simply impossible to tell exactly how a dog will look when fully grown if their genetic background is unknown. It is equally impossible to determine how many characteristics a 12 week old puppy has that match the description of an adult Pit Bull type.

The deaths of three puppies, who may have made excellent family pets, is a very sad occurrence and one which will continue until breed specific legislation is removed. Until then, rescue centres throughout the country will continue to dread the arrival of the Dog Legislation Officer.

Pit Bull type identification information taken from: Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales & Northern Ireland (2009) Guidance on Dealing with Dangerous Dogs.

Kent Police quote from here.

For details on how to become involved in the campaign against ‘BSL’, visit the DDA Watch website.



  1. Pauline Rita Bunner

    For pity’s sake……how awful. These Puppies were so innocent. Why in God’s name did this have to be done? These little Puppies could have had loving Homes. I bet the Staff at Cardiff Dog’s Home were very upset over this issue. WHAT A STUPID LAW.

    • brenda virgin

      Absolutely bloody outrageous, disgusting, atrocious behaviour totally unacceptable in a so called civilised society, they need to start doing their jobs properly and concentrating on finding dogfighting scum and putting them down and leave innocent dogs and puppies alone .

      • Susan Squires

        I agree. These people are evil. How could they kill these babies ? Rot in hell you scum. No better then the dog fighting s*** bags .

  2. Ann

    Despicable act. Would like to know what the very good reason for this law is. Those puppies in the right home and raised correctly would have made wonderful family pets. Measurements don’t make any difference to a dogs temperament. Correct upbringing does. Stupid unjust law that makes no sense at all

    • Pauline Nixon Araujo

      Couldn’t agree with u more.. I despise BSL there is NO justification for it, it only murders innocent dogs based solely on their breed..Never mind the fact that they may have NEVER been aggressive or caused any harm to anyone…Any sane intelligent person knows its how a dog is raised and socialized and trained that makes the difference. its HUMANS that are the dangerous monsters.

  3. Maria Kirk

    Puppies this age only know play and funny. Brought up in the right environment they would of become loving pets. Instead it was decided to not give them a chance at life and kill them instead. Can the person who decided on the legislation, honestly say, that this was the correct thing to do? I think not.

  4. correana

    these puppies to me are nothing at all pit like,yes theres many crosses in them and i believe it was easier to kill them as their supplement to requirements end of,they should be ashamed of themselves.

  5. Tina Gallagher

    It’s all so wrong! In USA pitbulls are loved for what they are DOGS! Pups that young have not and WILL not get the traits of a KILLER dog as long as they are in a loving home!it’s so unfair!

  6. Jodie

    Absolutely disgraceful. I’m furious that this has happened to three innocent lives! I would have taken them all in given the chance.

  7. Luke

    A dog is only dangeous if put in the wrong hands! These dogs did NOT need to be put to sleep! If people think these things out right then maybe these dogs could have been sent to the USA to owners that will respect the breed! Hate all this classifide rubbish! How about classifying us humans as a dangeous breed! And have some of the rapist and murders strung up by there balls!! Sick scum!

  8. Adam Walton

    As a dog rescuer and bull breed owner reading this breaks my heart, the DLO who did this have put themselves on the same level as those who abuse, beat, dump and kill the dogs I deal with daily. The only difference is that they have a piece of paper saying that they are doing it legally, hiding behind BSL. The legislation itself is impossible to logically uphold. The DLO sieze and murder dogs by condemning them with nothing more than a tape measure. It’s impossible to decide a dogs temperament and behaviour purely down to the way the animal is shaped. Once again the media avoid this headline as they avoid any dog attacks that don’t involve Bull breeds. BSL needs to withdrawn and the 1991 DDA needs to be reviewed and rewritten by someone with an education, the original DDA along with BSL was bought in as a knee jerk reaction.
    We still stand and fight for those without voices hopefully one day the UK Government will come to their senses and all dogs will be treated equally and not judged by looks.

  9. Lynda Taylor

    This has made my blood boil. You cannot possible be allowed to do that to dogs if they have not shown any sign of being dangerous. Even if it’s a breed that they class as dangerous we all no any dog could b capable of acting a danger. I’ve bn bitten twice in my life from a dog and it’s been from a dog breed of the smaller ones, this however I don’t blame on the breed either ,they in my eyes were jst unhappy dogs in my opinion.as for those. Folk who illegally breed for illegal reasons should b Fed to the lions or used as food for sharks .saving lots of countries court n jail keeping expenses.sorry for this rant and I’ve tried to b nice about it

  10. Helen Carson

    I thought a pit bull was allowed in this country so long as it has an exemption certificate,neutered etc?? Even if they thought they could have grown into pit bull type so long as they were rehomed with responsible people that got the certificate etc then they would have been fine,and LEGAL. They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this,it’s disgusting!!!

    • ghclarke2013

      Unfortunately, whilst it’s true that Pit Bull types with an owner can be exempted, those in rescue that are declared ‘type’ are euthanised as it is illegal to rehome them. It’s all wrong and the law needs to change.

  11. gyapo

    Saying a dog is dangerous on it’s own is like saying the exact same about a gun. Guns don’t kill until they are placed into the wrong hands. This country is a disgrace.

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  14. Mark Oszoli

    We can build cities, cure diseases, and visit space yet we can hide our true nature and that is to kill anything we fear or do not understand. Humanity has a long way to go.

  15. tybrax

    BSL is Emotional,Psychological Abuse. The political way to kill and get away with it..BSL is barbaric, primitive and unsubstantiated. That these experts in dog breed identification held training to a level supported in the “Rules of Law” as a true expert….l bet not.
    There Is NO scientific evidence anywhere In the world that proves you can ID a breed of dog based on visual appearance alone with any kind of surety, Yet this Is what government officials are doing. Shame on you Cardiff..

  16. Lynn Bodsworth

    There are no dangerous dogs just dangerous owners but do we put these owners to sleep no it is always the innocent that suffer. I have known many pit bull types and to a one they have all been fantastic family dogs. In fact I have been on the receiving end of an English bull terrier that came on my property and savaged a horse, thankfully the owner took responsibility and had the dog put to sleep but is that breed on the dangerous dogs list I don’t think so. BSL is what it is BS.

  17. Dee

    This is absolute crap, poor puppies, they had no resemblance of pit bull at all, they chests were narrow, their ears way too long, pit bulls have little twisted ears that look like they have grown backwards. Their noses were long and narrow. People have gone overboard with this crap. Here in Aus. my friend has a pure breed boxer. The council picked her up and was classified as pit bull? they seem to think any dog that for one reason or another has gotten out of their yard, must be a pit bull. THIS HASTO STOP

  18. tiffany

    So if a murderer has children should we kill them too or lock them up in a damn cage ans d label them an aggressive breed????? Instead of looking at this loving strong breed what aren’t we punishing the filth that over breeds theses dogs n punish them for the bs they do to these dogs…..animals are helpless, they r what we make them…

  19. Go

    This breaks my heart, so young , so trusting , so innocent, wow time we judged babies and put them down because they look like they might become a serial killer, this is to seriously wrong, you are supposed to rescue not kill unless very sick or dangerous, which part of that were these innocent souls, gone forever never given a chance.Judge the deed not the breed, small dogs have always been fast to bite, yet know one is saying all small dogs need to be put to sleep. I don’t know how you can sleep at night , I hope you have nightmares ever day of your life looking into their eyes as they slipped away asking why , what did we do wrong.

  20. Sam

    That’s exactly right I’m in total agreements with you there it all come down to the owner and yet it just takes some superficial idiot who has been given the power to make stupid legislation because it’s easier to make a new law than have things sitting in the two hard basket which having a person who’s kids or get attacked by a animal doesn’t get the blame the animal does because it’s a defence mechanism to defend ones self .
    Their are a lot of humans that should not breed but yet it’s apparently our right to make babies and give the addictions to drugs and come out with all the complicatations and yet people put them in the too hard basket than they get put into the foster system or adoption for someone to pick them like a puppy out of a shop window not knowing what their history is .

    ( I’m sorry for my huge rant, at least I’m one of the few to say it )


    This has my blood bubbling, these puppies were so cute and so bloody innocent grrrrrrrrr my anger is boiling right now!!!

  22. jane

    I am disgusted in this country’s actions on innocent dogs who have done nothing wrong are being put to sleep because of there breed a Yorkshire terrier can do more damage if it’s nasty than a pit bull type if it’s not brought up to be nasty it’s how people treat these animals that makes them the way they are so if a person goes out and rapes or murders another person we should put them to sleep because of what they have done but oh no we don’t we keep then in a cell where they are treated to three square meals a day a warm environment but because a dog just looks like it could ‘ve nasty we will just put it down ,those poor innocent puppies could of made real loving pets put in the right environment ,you should be ashamed of yourselves and we supposed be a animal loving country yes we are but only when it suits the government sorry it’s a long rant but so angry

  23. Lou

    Absolute Jobs worth! They look just like my Staffie pups did when they were little & there is no way they could tell if they are pits at that young an age! All they wanted was a home of their own & love & the authorities couldn’t be bothered & instead MURDERED them. Absolutely horrific & all involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves given that they could not have been sure if they were part Pit or not – even then not all Pits are aggressive so this law needs to change as KILLING innocent dogs is barbaric!!

  24. Charmaine Walsh

    This is the most stupid thing I have heard of yet. Someone needs to answer for this. Prosecute for the crime. Fire the idiot that made this decision immediately and jail term, fines, impose for each puppy he murdered.

  25. Victoria Thomas

    And what if it turned out that these pups were NOT Type ? Lives wasted for no reason at all. Any DECENT rescue would have kept them until they could be properly assessed at the right age. Puppies change so much that it’s almost impossible to know if they’ll be Type or not.

  26. Kayla Wilcox

    Wtf?! This is bull.. No puppy that is innocent should be killed!! They have the right to live!! They didn’t do anything wrong !! Why do this!? What did they do to make them get killed?!😑😠

  27. Amanda Fouraker

    they’re not even Pitbulls the bloody ignorant idiots! What the f*** is happening in Britain, they allow terrorists to kill innocent people and instead of killing them, they are killing innocent puppies and dogs??? This is why I’m not living in my own country, I’m disgusted with what is happening.

  28. Chris Edmondson

    How did the DLO identify these dogs as pit bull types? They were 12 weeks old and not mature enough for any determinations to be made. According to the law they need to be at least 9 months for any type casting! “Dogs that are classed as dangerous due to type only and are too young to be accurately assessed must be subject to a DLO examination to determine whether they should remain with the owner until such a time that they can be accurately assessed (usually 9 months of age).” (Kent Police, 2013).

    This is disgusting, it shows Cardiff Dogs Home are nothing but a bunch of cold hearted killers and the DLO hasn’t got a clue about breeds of dogs 😦

  29. Kate

    Bloody disgusting and they should be closed down! They haven’t a clue pit type my a*** they’re more staff crosses.. Innocent little pups being put to sleep.. Shocking!!

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