Concern is growing that American Pit Bull Terriers have been brought into the country for illegal dog fights in South Holland.
The Dangerous Dogs Act all but banned the keeping of Pit Bulls in the UK but a “confirmed Pit Bull” was identified after she was accidentally run over and killed in Spalding’s Hawthorn Bank.
The grey Pit Bull bitch had scars on her body that were consistent with dog fighting and her ears had been badly cropped with scissors, one of the hallmarks of a fighting dog, according to South Holland District Council dog warden Rachel Thompson.
She’s concerned that pups from the litter will now be trained up to fight.
Rachel said: “You don’t breed Pit Bulls unless you use them for fighting. There’s no other reason to breed Pit Bulls.”
The dogs fight to the death or near death in makeshift rings made of straw bales while punters bet on the dog they think will win.
Rachel said owners of winning dogs, and those who bet on winning dogs, make a lot of money while the dogs pay a high price.
“The injuries that these dogs sustain are never treated (by a vet) because the dogs are illegal and they should not be in the country,” she said.
Rachel revealed details about the Pit Bull on her Facebook page with a plea for the public to come forward with information and has now learned that a woman and a small boy had been seen walking the dog, which was muzzled, in St Thomas’s Road, Spalding, up to a week-and-a-half before it was run over by a taxi driver just before midnight on Saturday, July 18.
Rachel said the woman has been described as being in her late 20s or early 30s, about 5ft 8in tall and with long dark brown hair.
Rachel says adult Pit Bulls weigh around 10 stones, pound for pound have the same biting power as a shark and, once they bite, they don’t let go.
She said: “Children have got no chance. You would have to be bonkers to have a Pit Bull around a kid because it weighs three times more than any child.”
The Pit Bull had been microchipped in Lithuania, but Rachel says the RSPCA have had no luck in getting any details.
Rachel was determined not to let the Lithuanian connection open the door for racist rants on her Facebook page because she says most of the people she’s met from that country are “fantastic dog owners who care for their pets immensely”.
Pit Bulls were banned in the UK after a series of fatal attacks on children and can only be kept if a series of conditions are met, which include having the dogs officially registered, neutered, microchipped, tattooed and insured.
The law says Pit Bulls must also be kept in secure conditions to prevent escape and must be muzzled and kept on a lead in a public place.
The act bans owners from using the dogs for breeding, selling them or giving them away.
Although technically banned, the Daily Mirror revealed in May that more than 3,000 Pit Bull Terrier type dogs are still living in Britain.
An RSPCA spokesman said the officer dealing with the Spalding case is on leave, but any investigation is likely to focus on welfare issues such as “potential dog fighting” injuries. Police say anyone who suspects an animal is a banned breed of dog should call them on 101.