A dog owner who rescued a mistreated puppy which turned out to be a Pit Bull has won her battle to keep the pooch.
Julie Nicholson, of Bedmond, rescued the dog which she named Trie in 2013 but unbeknown to her, her new pet was a Pit Bull – one of the four dog breeds banned from the UK.
As soon as she found out, she immediately called the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for advice.
DEFRA contacted Herts Police and the force’s dangerous dog advisor PC Darren Lomax visited Julie and Trie to see if an Interim Exemption Certificate could be granted.
This allows dogs to remain with their owner until their breed is formally confirmed and it is decided what action is necessary to take.
After a risk assessment in September, the application for an IEC was rejected because the garden did not have ‘sufficient security’.
In the same week, three-year-old Trie was formally decreed to be a Pit Bull type, so was seized and taken to police kennels.
Darren made recommendations to Julie who, within two days, put up new posts, panels and a gate for the garden.
The IEC was reviewed and finally granted in what is the first instance of this legislation being used since its introduction late last year.
PC Lomax said: “Julie clearly loves Trie very much, as demonstrated by the fact she quickly adhered to our recommendations. I am pleased we were able to make the first use of IEC legislation since its introduction, resulting in such a positive outcome for all concerned.”
Julie said: “Trie has become my best friend and part of my family and when I found out she was a Pitt Bull it was a really scary situation, but the police were wonderful and kind.
“It was clear they had everyone’s interest at heart so I had faith in them.
“I’d like to thank them, the dog warden, my family and friends, and everyone else involved for their help, care and trust in me.”