Nearly 80,000 people sign petition to save Belfast dog deemed 'dangerous'

Leonard Collins says his dog, Hank, was taken from his home

Hank, pitbull, Belfast, legislation, dangerous dog, Leonard Collins, Belfast City Council

Image: Facebook/Save Hank

The owners of a dog in Belfast have received nearly 80,000 signatures in a petition to save him.

Leonard Collins says his dog, Hank, was taken from his home by police officers and dog wardens on July 14th.

"He has been condemned to die because he looks like a pitbull. Our only legal recourse is to fight this in the courts," he says.

Pitbull terriers are banned under legislation in Northern Ireland.

The legislation states: "A dog identified as banned by a dog warden will be presumed to be so, unless the owner can prove otherwise in court."

"A council dog warden, or an expert used by the council, will assess your dog's physical characteristics. They will judge the type of dog you have and whether it appears to be a banned breed," it adds.

Hank's future is unclear | Image: Image: Facebook/Save Hank

Collins was told at the time he got the pup that Hank was a Staffie-Labrador cross.

"We will do anything to save Hank, he is a much loved part of our family. He is more than a pet."

Collins adds: "The best chance at returning Hank to his home is to prove that he is not dangerous, this is costly due to the need for professional opinion."

He says the petition is to raise awareness of Hank and other dogs like him that are facing death due to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).

BSL bans or restricts certain types of dogs based on their appearance, usually because they are perceived as 'dangerous' breeds or types of dogs.

This petition is to be delivered to Belfast City Council.