A 4-month-old chow chow puppy was seized by the Northamptonshire Police Saturday, November 17 when the puppy bit an officer after escaping from his owner's home, according to a press release from the Northampton Police. The puppy, named Bungle, was spotted by an officer who was en route to another appointment. The puppy was running in and out of traffic.
The family of the puppy, David and Susan Hayes, have hired a lawyer to get Bungle released from puppy jail, according to the Sun. Police have detained the dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Thousands have called for the immediate release of Bungle, his family claiming the seizure of the puppy is "draconian" and "callous." Many advocating for the puppy's release argue he was a frightened puppy when the officer was attempting to rescue him, according to a Facebook group set up to help free Bungle.
According to the Northamptonshire Police press release, an officer was bitten on the hand and arm while trying to catch the puppy. The officer was not seriously injured but went to the hospital as a precaution.
"Public safety is the priority concern in such situations and as the owner was not present and there was continued risk, both to the safety of the dog and members of the public who were present at the time, the dog was seized under S5 (1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 - giving police powers where a dog is dangerously out of control in a public place and having caused injury to a person," police said in a statement.
Bungle is to be detained until a full investigation is complete. He is currently residing in a secure kennel in the care of the force's Dog Legislation Officer. For Bungle's family, this isn't good enough. Due to processing time, Bungle could potentially be kenneled for up to nine months while the investigation is underway, but police have reassured the family that because this case involves an animal, they are looking to resolve this matter as soon as possible, according to the BBC.
Advocates are fighting for Bungle's release. The Facebook group has already reached 5,185 members in just two days. A petition set up calling for Bungle's freedom has garnered nearly 10,000 signatures in less than 10 hours. The petition's creator, Karen Smith, argued on the petition page that the little puppy must have been "frightened stiff" as the officer was attempting to rescue him. She pleaded for Bungle's release "before the panic and loneliness damages his personality for life."