Bungle the chow chow freed from police custody after national outcry '“Â NATIONAL
A dog who bit a police officer twice and was seized by the law has been reunited with his owners.Â
Bungle the chow chow, a four month old puppy, was seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act following the incident on Saturday (November 17).Â
His '˜arrest' caused a national outcry, with The Sun leading a campaign to have him freed - while a petition to free him was signed thousands of times.Â
With reports that he may have to spend up to nine months away from his owners.Â
But Bungle has now been returned home, being reunited with his family last night (November 22)Â after his ownersÂ agreed to a Voluntary Control Order (VCO).Â
Why was Bungle seized?Â
Bungle the chow chow was seized under the Dangers Dogs Act after biting a police officer twiceÂ in Stoke Bruene, near Towcester, Nothamptonshire.Â
In a statement released following the incident, the force said: '˜The police officer was on route to another appointment when he became aware of a traffic hold up caused by a dog being loose in the road and potentially endangering road users.
'˜The officer went to assist and while trying to catch the dog, he was bitten on the hand and arm.
'˜The officer was not seriously hurt but attended hospital for precautionary checks, antibiotics and tetanus vaccination.'Â
Bungle was placed in secure kennels and was placed under the care ofÂ the Force's Dog Legislation Officer.Â
Why was Bungle allowed home?Â
A specialist dog handler met with Bungle's family yesterday andÂ having assessed the conditions and obtained agreement on the VCO, established that the dog could be returned.Â
Northamptonshire Police said: '˜It is the responsibility of all dog owners to ensure their pets are under control and don't present a danger to the wider public at any time.'Â
'˜I fully support the officers' actions'Â
Chief Superintendent Chris Hillery, said:Â '˜We understand that the actions taken on this occasion have generated significant public opinion on the proportionality of the officer's actions.
'˜To be absolutely clear I fully support the officers' actions in this case, the dog was unattended in a live carriageway and was aggressive to those present resulting in the officer being bitten and receiving injuries that required hospital attention
'˜In addition the decision made by the officer was in the context of some very real and serious cases involving dog bites that have resulted in serious life changing injuries and even death locally and nationally.
'˜The potential risk posed by the dog at that time is not diminished by its age or that it was frightened.
'˜Having already bitten the officer twice, causing puncture wounds and bruising, it would have been negligent to release a dog displaying such obvious aggression, regardless of the cause, without first ensuring both the dog's and the wider publics' safety.Â
'˜I fully support the decision of the officer at the time and the risk assessment process that has followed the seizure and subsequent return of the dog.Â
'˜The investigation into the safety of the dog is a process we take very seriously and is carried out by trained officers and rightly this takes time.
'˜Once the owners were identified, we maintained contact with them throughout, updating them regularly on the process.
'˜We arranged a time, at their convenience, to meet and discuss arrangements for the dogs' return, which is now complete.
'˜In no way was this decision impacted by the media reporting.
'˜Having gone through a proportionate investigation and risk assessment, the dog has been returned with appropriate conditions to manage any future risk.
'˜I would like to thank the officers and staff who have worked professionally on this matter.
'˜In particular a dog officer who worked late into the evening yesterday to expedite the risk assessment and return the dog to its family as soon as possible.
'Finally, I can report the officer who was bitten is recovering well.'