Puppy Was Discovered ‘Hours From Death’ Abandoned In His Bag At A Park In Peterborough

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A young dog who was found dumped in a yellow Aldi shopping bag has been put to sleep, despite being on the road to recovery. Stanley was discovered “hours from death” abandoned in a park in Peterborough last month, and was taken in by the RSPCA, where dedicated animal carers began to heal him back to health.

But heartbreakingly, the one-year-old pup was identified as a suspected banned breed and later typed by police as a pit bull terrier – meaning he had to be euthanised under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act. The RSPCA is “devastated” by Stanley’s death after doing “everything legally possible” to try to save him.

The UK’s breed-specific legislation bans the ownership of the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero, regardless of their health or behaviour.

This means Stanley was “effectively sentenced to death”, despite putting on weight and learning how to walk again at the RSPCA centre, CambridgeshireLive reports.

The animal charity said it “explored a number of options” to find a way to rehome Stanley, but ultimately “none have been possible”.

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, a prohibited dog may only be rehomed when its owner has died or is seriously ill.

Case law has also established that a person with a pre-existing relationship with the dog may be able to apply to bring about an exemption.

The RSPCA is among numerous leading animal charities calling for the Government to change the law with regards to the rehoming of typed dogs – as recommended by the EFRA Committee to avoid the unnecessary euthanasia of happy, friendly dogs.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We are all absolutely devastated that because Stanley has been identified as a suspected prohibited type of dog – under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act – we were legally unable to rehome him.

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“This decision is completely out of our hands and means he has effectively been sentenced to death by legislation which we believe to be outdated and ineffective.

“The RSPCA has been doing everything legally possible and available to us to help Stanley. Given what he has been through, he, like so many dogs, deserved a second chance.

“We have explored a number of options which we hoped would allow for Stanley to be legally kept but none have been possible and because of this cruel and ineffective law he had to be put to sleep.

“This is a tremendously upsetting situation for all involved in the care of Stanley and we would have loved nothing more than to have found him the loving home he deserved but, unfortunately, the law does not allow us to do this.

“This is why the RSPCA opposes breed-specific legislation (BSL) and would like to see it repealed. No one could fail to have been moved by those awful photos of a starving pup left to die in a shopping bag.

“He endured so much – and he’s been let down firstly by his owners and secondly by a law which is completely unfair and is failing to protect the public.

“The law needs to change so more dogs – like Stanley – aren’t needlessly put to sleep because of how they look.

“Anyone who feels heartbroken like us about this poor pup’s story, we would urge them to support our campaign to end BSL by contacting their MP through our campaign’s page. “

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