Stella, the Pit Bull, was seized from her caretaker in 2014 after the police showed up at the home for an unrelated incident. However, Stella ended up in their possession as she was considered “potentially dangerous” because of “her breed, her behavior when police seized her, and her behavior in assessments.” Tragically, after this, the young dog has been confined to a cage in a kennel without exercise for the past two years. According to the United Kingdom’s Dangerous Dogs Act, breed-specific legislation aimed at reducing the number of dog attacks, dogs who have exhibited aggressive behavior are not permitted to interact with humans while they are in holding – and so, this Pit Bull has been left sedentary for two entire years.
According to reports, both the Devon and Cornwall police refused to give specific reasons why Stella could not be given even a little bit of exercise. Her situation marks the longest holding period for a dog to date, and as of February 8th, she was marked “to be destroyed”— the dog equivalent of death row.
According to BBC ”Stella’s owner said there were no incidents of aggressive behavior prior to her being seized.” During her two years in the shelter, she has only been out of her kennel twice, for behavior assessments.
As of February 8, Stella sits on the canine equivalent of death row, in spite of no previous records of aggressive behavior. Her guardian has tried to appeal the court’s holding 11 times and now has 28 days to have this final decision repealed.
Out of the hundred of dogs to be seized by Devon and Cornwall Police, Stella is the only one “deemed too dangerous to walk due to her aggressive behavior.” What is especially heartbreaking about this young Pit Bull’s situation is that she was seized from her caretaker because of her breed, but Pit Bulls as a breed have a bad reputation that’s entirely undeserved. It is a commonly held myth that Pit Bulls are inherently aggressive, but this is hardly true. Just like any other breed, a Pit Bull raised by responsible guardians is just as capable of being sweet and loving.
Her caretaker was given 28 days to appeal Stella’s case, but, in spite of this, she has yet to be released back into his custody. It seems that nothing, even testimony that prior to police taking her away, can be done to secure Stella the Pit Bull’s fate. Share this post to raise awareness about the injustice facing young Stella. No dog should be sentenced to die because of their breed.
All image source: Laura Khanlarian/BBC