A police force slammed for keeping a dog on ‘death row’ for years also kept a SECOND canine in the same conditions awaiting the same fate, it emerged today (Fri).
Cops were blasted this week after it emerged a pit bull type dog named Stella had been kept in a 3ft by 9ft kennels since being seized from owner Antony Hastie in 2014.
Devon and Cornwall Police claimed it was an isolated incident.
But the whistleblower who exposed the force has now released a video showing Vincent suffering the same treatment as Stella.
Rottweiler Vincent, who is believed to have been trained as a guard dog, was put down in July last year after he reportedly attacked three people in 2013.
Devon and Cornwall Police, who initially refused to comment on Vincent, a Rottweiler, now blame “immensely frustrating” delays in the judicial process left him at the Foredowne Kennels in Kingskerswell, Devon, for two years before he was destroyed.
The video, taken on the day Vinnie was put down, shows kennel staff playing with Vinnie while Stella, in the kennel next door, rubs noses with the Rottweiler through the metal mesh.
Vinnie is believed to have been trained as a guard dog and police said he was used to attack three people in 2013.
He was seized and placed in kennels but the court process took two years before a destruction order was carried out around 26 July 2015.
Former staff at the kennels say Vinnie had a “Do Not Enter” sign on his kennel and, as far as they were aware, was not let out for a period of two years.
Laura Khanlarian, a former assistant at kennels, who left her job in November last year after raising concern about treatment of the dogs, said: “There was another dog there called Vincent who also didn’t leave his cage but was put down after two years.
“There is not any good reason for it. I could have taken Vincent and Stella out. There is no doubt about that.
“I asked but was always refused.
“To move Vincent from one cage to another he just went through the internal doors.
“He wasn’t assessed like Stella so he really didn’t leave the kennel at all.
“Vinnie had no contact until the day he was put down. I made that video an hour before when we were allowed in his kennel with him.
“He was treated in much the same way as Stella. They were both lovely dogs. I went in the kennel with Stella many times even though I should not have and she was absolutely fine.
“In two years time they never went anywhere and never get a walk.
“It broke my heart as I loved them both to bits.”
Laura, 31, of Torquay, Devon, had worked at the kennels for 27 months and now is now a cleaner and dog groomer.
She said: “Every dog should be exercised. They should have been enriched and they were not.
“I made the decision to do this (speak out) simply because I thought it was wrong.
“I did not get into animal care to just sit back and allow this to happen. It would tear my soul apart to carry on working there.
“But I had to leave my job as I was in breach of my contract for speaking out.
“My only hope is that in the future the courts, police and kennels up and down the country can look at the dogs as individuals and not just the breed.
“The ideal situation is that they don’t stay in kennels unless they are absolutely a danger to society.
“But what I witnessed I found very disturbing.”
Another former worker at the kennel, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Vinnie the Rottie had no human contact except being fed. He was deemed too dangerous to get out.
“But this was the dog that, once he knew you, wagged his tail, pushing himself against the bars, desperate for any attention.
“As far as I know he belonged to a man who trained him as a guard dog. Because he was possibly trained to bite we were told not to walk, go in with him, same as Stella as he was too dangerous.”
Superintendent Jim Nye, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “The welfare of dogs is extremely important to us.
“In the past year we have seized in the region of 100 dogs, and only Stella has been assessed as too dangerous and unpredictable for kennel staff to walk.”
Vincent is understood to not be among the last 100 dogs seized.
However, in a statement they said: “Vinnie the Rottweiler was a dog seized and placed into kennels in 2013.
“Vinnie was a legal breed and was seized after it had bitten three people. Later the courts granted a destruction order on the dog who was put to sleep in the early to mid part of 2015.
“Within the last 100 dogs we have seized only Stella was deemed too dangerous to be exercised and instructions given to the kennel specifically in relation to this.
“It is important to stress that despite the very best effort of the police, the judicial process is not accelerated when a dog is placed in kennels. This is immensely frustrating for the police who hold animal welfare in the highest regard.”
Staff at the kennels have refused to comment.