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View Poll Results: Was it right to execute Bruce?
Yes 7 26.92%
No 16 61.54%
Difficult Call 3 11.54%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 23-April-2002, 18:58
gillbender
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Angry Police dog executed :(

Police dog to be executed
by Phil Mills

An 11th-hour campaign has been launched to save police dog Bruce from death row after he bit off part of a teenager's ear.

The German shepherd was due to be destroyed this afternoon after biting the 14-year-old while officers were breaking up a brawl.

But friends and neighbours of dog handler PC Pete Tattum and his family are pleading for a stay of execution.

One woman said: "Bruce was only doing his job. They could retire him - surely they don't have to kill him."

Their pleas have so far been rejected.

Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Yeo said the decision was regrettable.

But he said: "At the end of the day, a police dog is not trained to do what it did.

"A police dog is not a pet, it is a piece of equipment. If we had a car that did not work or had faulty brakes then we would get rid of it.

"We have to be as bloody-minded as that for the sake of public safety."

Bruce, who is five, was put into kennels immediately after the attack to be assessed.

A force spokeswoman said: "The dog was checked by a nationally-accredited police dog training instructor and did not pass.

"Therefore, regrettably, due to public safety, which must be paramount, the dog will be humanely euthanised by a veterinary surgeon."

She said police dogs which fail cannot be rehomed.

If it bit again, Sussex Police could be liable for legal action because it had been trained by the force.

It costs 6,000 to train a police dog and it is worth 35,000 during its working life of eight years.

Dozens of friends and children gathered with banners near PC Tattum's home in Seaford last night to press home their Save Bruce campaign.

Neighbour Sylvia Hedges said PC Tattum had offered to leave the police dog unit so he could keep Bruce.

She said: "He's prepared to sacrifice his career for the life of his dog.

"He's being allowed to see Bruce to say goodbye before they kill him.

"Pete's ten-year-old daughter had to leave their home on Monday when the news was broken. They knew she would be upset.

"She and Pete's wife were in floods of tears when they heard.

"Pete's 13-year-old son phoned the police dog manager and pleaded with him to save Bruce."

Mrs Hedges, an intensive care nurse, said: "The whole community here is outraged at what we think is an unfair and cruel decision.

"I am not a dog lover but I am happy to be near Bruce with my two children. Bruce has visited schools and has never been a problem.

"When police officers make errors they are disciplined but it seems dogs who make mistakes pay with their lives."

Wendy Walker, supervisor of Chyngton Methodist Church playgroup in Seaford, said: "Bruce was wonderful and gentle when he visited children here.

"They were able to touch him and he was well behaved. The children all loved him. What they are doing to him is disgusting."

Sarah Jackson, another Seaford neighbour, said: "The boy Bruce bit was told to stand still but chose to run.

"Bruce was only doing what he was trained to do and it is costing him his life."

The teenage boy was injured in the early hours of Saturday when a fight broke out between a crowd of 20, some armed with bottles and knives, in Morley Street, Brighton.

Police said the teenager was one of two people pursued.

They were ordered to stop by a dog handler, who followed them to an unlit part of the street.

Surgeons later reattached the boy's right-earlobe and he was in satisfactory condition in hospital. Police were waiting to question him.

Stacey McSpirit, who runs the Paws Animal Sanctuary in Findon, was outraged at the decision to put Bruce down.

She said: "I can't understand it. The dog was only doing its job.

"It was probably going for the arm as trained to do and missed and caught the ear."

She added: "Mike Tyson bit someone's ear off and they didn't put him down."

Bruce bit a police officer in 1999 but the PC forgave him.

Steve Curry, now a sergeant, was grabbed by the thigh, leaving him with a puncture wound.

He was one of three people bitten as officers followed two car thieves seen in a stolen car.

The vehicle crashed into another car in Freshfield Way, Brighton, injuring a woman passenger who chased the two thieves.

Bruce was giving chase and the woman came into the dog's line of sight and was bitten on her wrist, causing a minor injury.

Mr Curry, who was also bitten, said at the time: "I was in plain clothes and running. I should have stopped. Bruce mistook me for a suspect and was doing his job.

"I'm certainly not cross with him. Both dogs and their handlers were brilliant."

One suspect was bitten twice in the leg after trying to kick Bruce's colleague, Ben, another German shepherd.

The suspect was arrested but his accomplice escaped.

One officer said: "It may be a shame Bruce has to die but he is only a force resource. The boy will be scarred for life."

This morning, Lewes Lib Dem MP Norman Baker added his voice to calls for a reprieve for Bruce.

He said: "It seems drastic bearing in mind the dog was only carrying out orders."

Brighton Kemptown Labour MP Des Turner said he would also be calling force headquarters.

David Rogers, chairman of Sussex Police Authority, said: "Public safety must come first.

"I have spoken to the Assistant Chief Constable and asked him to explore fully every other option other than to put the dog down. Ultimately, it must be his decision."

The Sussex Police call handling centre has received a number of calls from members of the public


and to follow up==============================

I'm ashamed of dog killers

The wife of PC Pete Tattum today said she was ashamed of Sussex Police for killing her husband's police dog Bruce.

Kay Tattum said: "Pete has been with the force for 25 years and I have always stuck up for them. Now, I'm so ashamed of them."

Bruce was put down with a lethal injection at a Sussex kennels this week despite appeals from the public and MPs.

He was destroyed on the orders of Sussex Police after he bit off part of a 14-year-old boy's ear when officers were tackling a street brawl involving youngsters with knives and bottles.

The Tattums and their 13-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter have been overwhelmed by the public reaction to Bruce's death.

Flowers, cards and bottles of wine have arrived at their home in Seaford.

Mrs Tattum, 42, said: "Bruce was loved by everybody. Our children had their friends come round and they would all play with him.

"Bruce would know when it was time for the children to arrive home from school.

"He'd wag his tail and get excited. He'd toss his ball around, ready to play.

"We had to kiss him goodnight between his ears every night or he'd whimper.

"He was a member of our family and we miss him. My son is at that age when it's not cool to cry but he has been sobbing. My husband has been crying so much. It's unbelievable."

The Tattum's daughter celebrated her birthday on Saturday, the day the force broke the news Bruce would have to die.

Mrs Tattum said: "We didn't tell her until the next day so as not to spoil her birthday. She has been crying on and off ever since."

One 11-year-old girl sent the family a computer card with the words: "You gave your dog a safe, comfortable home. You were gentle, loving companions. And because of that you made Bruce's life heaven on earth. It is okay to miss him. We are thinking of you."

Mrs Tattum said: "People have been knocking on our door to say how sorry they are. I've been stopped in the street by strangers and every time someone says something I start to cry.

"I want to thank The Argus, my neighbours and friends and everyone who tried to save Bruce. I want everyone to know we will never forget him."

Neighbour Sylvia Hedges, who organised a campaign pleading with Sussex Police to reprieve Bruce, urged people to write to the force.

She said: "We must make sure Bruce did not die in vain.

"Police dogs who are prepared to defend us and even die for us must be protected in the future.

"I just hope the public doesn't start criticising or insulting police men and women in the streets for what has happened or to see our children turned away from police. This has nothing to do with the vast majority of officers."

==========================================

B******s


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  #2  
Old 23-April-2002, 20:08
Steed Steed is offline
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Having read the whole report very carefully it was wrong to kill the dog.

With so many aspects of life you get this stupid "Rules are rules" attitude. In any situation the specific events and possibilities should be examined.

Police dogs are not usually rehomed outside the force for obvious reasons of safety, but in this case the officer concerned was quite prepared to home him and be responsible.

That should have been good enough.

It is a great shame the boy was injured and he did dot deserve it in any way, but the needless destruction of this dog will not make things better for him.

From the report it is clear that this dog would not attack in an unprovoked way and would be safe in the control of its responsible owner, away from police work of course.

Steed
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  #3  
Old 23-April-2002, 20:33
fridgebuzz
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WOW

THat's a long report!

I vote NO.
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  #4  
Old 23-April-2002, 20:48
Tebbie
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"At the end of the day, a police dog is not trained to do what it did.

A force spokeswoman said: "The dog was checked by a nationally-accredited police dog training instructor and did not pass.
ok,, dont' hit me,, but I voted 'yes',, while this could be an isolated incident for the dog, , there are no assurances of that,, I wouldn't have it near my kids,, because it was trained to attack if the situation arised,, who is to say it can differentiate between excessive rough play, and a situation it was trained to work on? Obviously something went wrong with it's training. If it was just another dog, who was someone's pet, and did the same thing,, do you think it would get the same press? i feel for the kids who have been living with Bruce like he was part of their family,, but if the trainers are even saying he did what he wasn't trained to do,, who's to say it wont' happen again? It's sad, but I think they did the right thing ,, it would be irresponsible to place him in a home where he could hurt someone. Then if someone did get hurt,, they could sue the policeforce for allowing a potentially dangerous animal to be housed as a pet.

tebs
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  #5  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:01
Steed Steed is offline
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I can see your point there Tebs. I beleive [I could be wrong ]
that a private pet would have to be destroyed if it attacked someone.

I voted no on this one cos I think its handler would be able to control it OK in normal situations. As he offered to end his career to home the dog and in view of his experience it would prob be OK.

But, as you say, who can say for sure, I would certainly respect any parents wish to keep their kids away just in case.

I think I might be talking myself round in circles

Guess I just love dogs and like to think there could be a safe way for it to live

Steed
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  #6  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:06
Tebbie
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I would be crying along side the children ,, but I still think they did the right( but difficult) thing

tebs
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  #7  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:06
tony
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not happy to say i voted yes, but i think that was the correct action,

think we are being led a bit in that the emphasys is that it is a police dog etc,

if it was a 'normal' dog we would not of heard of it
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  #8  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:07
Tebbie
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Which leads to the next question,, is it the dog's fault? or the trainer who is responsible for the dog not being imprinted properly to it's training?

tebs
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  #9  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:12
tony
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dont ask a next question, it's that that gets us into bother if we stick to the subject then we might all agree to disagree
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  #10  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:14
fridgebuzz
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if we stick to the subject then we might all agree to disagree


Whooooooah.......sorry........I just fell off my puter stool
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  #11  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:16
Tebbie
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,, well, the dungeon is still open

tebs

will just send myself there
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  #12  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:19
Fenix
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Nope, they were wrong. the dog should have lived and these are the reasons why

1)The dog didn't ask to be trained as a Police dog, but he done what he was asked

2)His life was probably risked many times previously and he had probably helped prevent or catch criminals in dangerous situations, putting is own life regularly on the line.

3) A duty of care was required to protect this dog. This, any police dog at the very least should deserve for what he unstintingly gives in return.

Right, we are led to believe that the dog made a mistake, it wasn't a fatal nor a terrible mistake but he did make it. A decent home could, no should, have been found for this chap.

To put this dog down is murder, betrayal and cowardice and I hope the perps pay soon for the shyte they have handed out.

There can be no excuses

Fenix
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  #13  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:20
Steed Steed is offline
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Thats something I have thought about dogs in general Tebs. The saying is that there are no bad dogs only bad owners.

I think that does work as a general rule. A fair but firm training in a caring enviroment usually produces a well adjusted dog.

But, there's always a but In this case two.

There must be cases where an animal is by nature aggresive or difficult to handle and there is nothing you can do.

Any dog, whatever its usual demenour has the potential to do harm if it is ill or hurt. It can be easy to forget this as an owner, particulaly after years of good behavior.

Personally, I have never and never will hit my dog. He is a rescue dog who has not always had the best from people, all he needs is love and most importantly control. This keeps him out of trouble and people out of harm.

Woof

Steed & his dog


Edit: Again ! four posts while I type, where's Mavis

Another edit: By the time I reply everyone's forgotten the question.

Last edited by Steed; 23-April-2002 at 21:24.
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  #14  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:29
Tebbie
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fenix, you said what I was thinking, about the dog not chosing to be trained as a policedog. I am sure it was handpicked as a pup for that too.
I agree that there is a human responsibilty to be accounted for in this too. But it doesnt' change that the dog could be a potential danger now,, granted not by it's own fault I think the dog WAS failed in this case.

I hate things like this,, it's like raising a child in an abusive envirment, then being suprised it grows up to be abusive

tebs

Steed,, my problem is that I am thinking as I am typing, not always a good thing
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  #15  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:43
Fenix
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The thing is Tebs, the responsibility for these dogs are ours. We breed, train and expect them to go and do things for us that we cannot do, to take risks we are not prepared to take. To regularly, put there lives on the line. They do it without question and for what, their trainer and their keep. It makes a mistake, WE KILL IT, we should all feel SO PROUD OF OURSELVES. If the dog becomes at any time a possible danger then we should provide a safe environment to let it live its life out, its the least it deserves from us.

Its like soldiers, we marvel at 'our boys' when they do the biz in war, but when they return these same 'Heroes' are pariahs.
remeber the Viet Nam War, a total disgrace how those lads were treated.

As I said No Excuses, I hope the peeps responsible get their comeuppance soon.

fenix
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  #16  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:46
Tebbie
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I agree Fenix,, what I dont' agree with, and never have,, is training dogs for any type of violent behaviour, such as police dogs, guard dogs,, etc,, dogs trained to sniff out drugs are different,, as well as seeing eye dogs,, but to train a dog to attack, it not doing right by the dog,, I am sure there are many who disagree with me

tebs
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  #17  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:52
fridgebuzz
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that was the main reason I voted no..the dog was only doing what it was trained (badly maybe) to do.

Tebs.......I know it SEEMS cruel to train a dog to do these types of jobs.......but they're jobs that need doing don't you think?

They can run faster than a man.........get thru places a man couldn't and they SCARE the *AHEM* out of criminals!
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  #18  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:52
Fenix
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what I dont' agree with, and never have,, is training dogs for any type of violent behaviour, such as police dogs, guard dogs,,
Thats another argument Tebs. The fact is we do ask these dogs to do stuff for us as a society that we are not prepared to do ourselves. Putting this chap down is a DISGRACE

fenix
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  #19  
Old 23-April-2002, 21:57
Tebbie
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Dunnno,, let me think on that one,, in Texas alot of places use baby rattlesnakes as security guards ,, their bite won't kill ya,, but you do have to go to the hospital for anti venom treatments, making it easier to catch the baddies.

I never liked the idea of training dogs for police work like that,, my neighbor used to raise dobermans, and while they can look terrifying, because i spent alot of time around them, i knew they were not at all dangerous,, but take the same dogs, and put them thru training to attack, etc,, I wouldnt' have one near my girls

I don't blame the gogs, i blame the people who have become convinced they need to have dogs to do this type of work.

tebs

edit,, your messages are full fenix

I know this topic is a personal one for you fenix, and I agree with the basic idea,, i was saved twice when i was a toddler by our family german sheperd,, her name was greta and mom trained her to keep me away from the fence and the pool in the back yard,, greta saved em twice,, and was killed when she ran out onto a busy hightway to knock a stray dog out of the path of a huge lorry,, true story i promise,, I dont' remeber , but my mom loved telling me about how brave she was. this is why i oppose training dogs for attacking
hugs
tebs

about that other thing,, you think????
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  #20  
Old 24-April-2002, 00:47
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Worldlife Worldlife is offline
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Sorry I've voted the Police action as correct.

My first reaction was that the dog may have made a forgiveable error but then you have the past history of another biting incident.

Tebbie brought up the question of training too. I'm just worried if this might have been a confused animal.

Was it's handler expecting too much in treating it both as a domestic pet and as working dog.

Had the impression it might have been a little more excitable that would be expected of a trained police dog. I wonder if a police dog, after a hard day at work, would be best given time to relax and not necessarily face an onslaught of young kids.
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  #21  
Old 24-April-2002, 10:37
Fenix
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Sorry I've voted the Police action as correct
Don't you think this attitude extremeley Selfish. Are you quite happy to have these dogs trained up to do battle against crime in your name , but when one has a problem, just discard him, take his life.
I'm not surprised at this attitude, its becoming more prevelant as times go on.

The more selfish we become as a society, the more we moan and wring our hands at how the quality of life is deteriorating, little realising that it is us who speed this action and only us who can turn it around; not much hope of that, not while we can shed our responsibilities and justify betrayal so easily.

fenix
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  #22  
Old 24-April-2002, 13:42
fridgebuzz
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fenix

The more selfish we become as a society, the more we moan and wring our hands at how the quality of life is deteriorating, little realising that it is us who speed this action and only us who can turn it around;
hear hear
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  #23  
Old 24-April-2002, 14:24
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if a family dog savaged a person (having your ear bitten off doesn't sound much fun!) then it'd be put down., if it was you in the pub an it had bitten you, I suspect most people would want the dog put down.

whether the handler is at fault is another matter, perhaps they should be stopped from having another dog...

Sil
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  #24  
Old 24-April-2002, 14:52
fridgebuzz
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sil a family dog isnt put thru the rigourous training a police dog is to make it into what it has to be to do it's job.....
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  #25  
Old 24-April-2002, 15:05
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which is another point in favour of it being put down, police dogs are trained very specifically not to injure people, a bite (and hold) on an arm or leg is should be completly different to a bite anywhere near the head !

it was just an ear this time, couldve easily been an eye or nose I would think,.,.

Sil
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  #26  
Old 24-April-2002, 16:08
fridgebuzz
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Yeah I can see that sure sil...

still my instinct is that it is the fault of the trainers.....

and should not be taken out on the dog......

the very worse that should happen I think is it should be retired...though I'm not sure if all that has been trained can be untrained as I'm not a doggie person.....I imagine it may be a problem.....

hmmm this is a tough one......
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  #27  
Old 24-April-2002, 20:39
Art_Garfunkel
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It's not about whose fault it is. A dog can never be guilty in a moral sense. It's about removing a danger to people who are far more important then dogs.

Whether they should be trained as attack dogs in the first place is another matter. Clearly it doesnt always work right so perhaps not such a good idea.
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  #28  
Old 24-April-2002, 23:58
STS
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Default But.....

Hi,

And I have been trained to only use baton strikes in specific targeted areas upon the body (emergencies only folks. relax) but targets sometimes move making it difficult to aim your blow accurately.

STS
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  #29  
Old 25-April-2002, 19:14
manicvegan manicvegan is offline
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Fenix said
Don't you think this attitude extremeley Selfish. Are you quite happy to have these dogs trained up to do battle against crime in your name , but when one has a problem, just discard him, take his life.
This is the very point. the dog didn't bite a family member but a wrong doer, who ran when he was told to stand still.

Disgraceful decision to murder the dog. Not justified at all.
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  #30  
Old 26-April-2002, 15:59
Catswhiskers
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I have only just seen this. I read the other day that the dog had been put down already. Whatever, it is terrible that this can happen. As other people said, he was only doing his job. He is taught to bit people when ordered. I can't see the difference from the arm or leg to this. If he went to bite on the arm and missed if the person struggled then surely he can be given the benefit of the doubt.

Someone here said they are only trained to bite on the arm and hold. So the person is just going to let that happen without struggling are they? I can't see any difference between this and what he did. He did not attack on his own, he was told to and the other dog bit one of the guys on the leg when he tried to kick him. This is not a violent or badly behaved dog. He was doing was what expected of him. Have you seen how the train them to grab hold of an arm - they bite very hard into padding - it that's your arm you are gonna bleed!

What a terrible hypocritical country we live in.
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