For over two long years, the police in the United Kingdom have kept Stella the Pit Bull locked in a small cage. She was seized from her owner in 2014 for one reason only-being a Pit Bull, which is a violation of the UK’s Dangerous Dogs Act. Stella has been confined ever since, let out just twice in those two years.
Stella has a hero who hopes her time in the cage comes to an end and is desperately trying to rescue her. At issue is whether Stella will be put down per a recent court order or given the opportunity to live.
Nicole Bruck, founder of the nonprofit Animals R Family, is among the many who are hoping for the latter. Bruck is hoping Stella will be allowed to live. With her, in Connecticut.
“I said we’ll take her,” Bruck.
According to a former kennel worker Laura Khanlarian, who blew the whistle on Stella’s treatment, the dog has only been let out of her cage twice during these two years. Both times were for behavioral assessments.
Given the conditions, did not go well. In a statement, police said that Stella was kept isolated and caged for safety reasons:
“In the past two years, in the region of a hundred dogs have been seized by Devon and Cornwall Police. During this time Stella, an illegal breed that had to be seized, has been the only dog deemed too dangerous to walk due to her aggressive behaviour.”
Stella’s owner, Antony Hastie petitioned the court 11 times for his dog to be released and has said that Stella showed no signs of aggression prior to being seized.
He’s been unsuccessful, so far. In February, the Torquay Magistrates’ Court ordered that Stella be killed.
Hastie is appealing the execution order and is now represented by a law firm specializing in saving dogs ordered to die. Nearly 10,000 people have signed an online petition in support of his release.
Hastie’s lawyer, Tina Wagon, told the BBC that Hastie wants for Stella to come home, but even if that’s not possible, his top priority is keeping Stella alive.
“Plan A is that Antony would like his dog back. Plan B is for us to get some help,” she said
Bruck has extended her offer to effect Plan B, and hopes it will be accepted by all relevant parties.
She doesn’t believe that Stella is dangerous, based on the available videos, she’s impressed at how well-adjusted Stella seems, considering the long detention.
“I think it is a testament to her temperament that she has not lost her mind,” Bruck said.
Bruck is prepared to pay to bring Stella to live in Connecticut where she would live in a fenced in yard with lots of canine companions. Bruck has one permanent dog and five fosters. Bruck thinks perhaps Stella could even be trained as a therapy dog.
Pit Bulls are so welcome in Connecticut, in fact, three years ago the governor signed a law prohibiting communities from implementing breed restrictions. (Nineteen states now have such proscriptions.)
Bruck envisions that like Michael Vick’s dogs, amazing second acts have helped pave the way for better laws toward Pit Bulls in the U.S., perhaps Stella living, well after all this might do the same in Britain.
So she’d like Stella to thrive, and in so doing, help usher out the UK’s breed-specific legislation. Then Bruck and her furry family can go home again too.
Bo, one of Nicole Bruck’s foster dogs, shows how Stella will be treated like royalty in Connecticut.
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