Staffordshire Bull Terriers won’t be included on the dangerous dogs list, despite animal rights charity PETA submitting a proposal to the consultation on the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 concerning the breed, saying its inclusion would help protect it from abuse. According to iNews, PETA’s argument was that adding Staffies to the list would help to protect them from gangs, abuse and crime. According to the charity, the breed is the most likely to be abducted and used by gangs, either as guard dogs or for fighting rings. A statement from PETA read: “Staffies are currently flooding UK animal shelters and have become by far the most commonly abandoned breed of dog in the country. They’re also one of the most abused – in fact, the RSPCA has confirmed that 80 per cent of its cruelty-to-animals prosecutions concern Staffies.” Staffie owner Steve Quinn launched a petition after PETA submitted its initial proposal, calling on the government to reject it – with his petition quickly garnering 160,000 signatures in support. He explained that there are many people in the UK who have the pleasure of owning this type of dog and from his own personal experience he can say that they’re “loving, loyal and caring, far from dangerous they are great companions”. He went on to observe that people “are the problem” since people “create dangerous dogs”. Currently, it is against the law to own certain types of dog here in the UK – pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasileiros. It is also against the law to sell, abandon, give away or breed from a banned dog. But interestingly, whether or not your dog is banned depends on what it looks like, instead of its breed or name. So, for example, if a dog matches lots of the characteristics of a pit bull terrier, it may actually be banned. Should you have a banned dog, be aware that the police or your local council dog warden can take it away and keep it even if a complaint hasn’t been made or if it isn’t acting dangerously. If the dog is in a public place, the police don’t need a warrant but if it’s in private property, they will do. Either the police or a council dog expert will judge what kind of dog you have and decide whether it is, or could be, a danger to the public. It will either then be released or kept in kennels while the police apply to a court. You will not be allowed to visit your dog while you await the court decision. Another point to bear in mind is that you can give up ownership of your dog but you cannot be forced to. Should you choose to give up ownership, your dog could be destroyed without you even having to go to court.