Belfast Telegraph

Council just wants to destroy my dog, says Bangor mum

Owner Zyndzie with Boxer (second left) and her three other dogs
Owner Zyndzie with Boxer (second left) and her three other dogs

By Paul Higgins

A Bangor mum whose dog Boxer was seized for allegedly being a pit bull type dog has claimed a Northern Ireland council “just wants to destroy my dog”.

Zyndzie Akimodo is in dispute with Ards and North Down Borough Council.

She said Boxer, the alleged pit bull type dog, is a member of her family.

Boxer, a two and a half year old dog whose mum Honey is a staffy cross, was seized three months ago and has not been allowed to see his family since.

Zyndzie explained: “(The council) was out last summer because it had been told that I had a pit bull type dog.

“They came out, had a look, said that he was possibly type but didn’t come back until February this year.

“Again, they had a look at Boxer and this time, took him away to be assessed and having conducted all of her tests to see if he was dangerous or aggressive, they gave him back to me and said he was a lovely, well mannered dog but that I needed to get him neutered, chipped and licensed in my name for an exemption certificate.

“I did all that but the council was out again a few months later. I remember it was a Friday and I had five or six men turn up at my door shouting and screaming at me that I needed to sign the dog over or they’ll be getting a seizure warrant.

“I didn’t know what to do because it was difficult to keep the dogs apart and Boxer was supposed to go and live with my ex-partner who was getting a new house that weekend.”

It was suggested to Zyndzie that Boxer would be taken for the weekend, and the situation re-evaluated the following Monday.

But Zyndzie said that when she rang on Monday, they said that Boxer was now dangerous, that she couldn’t see him and that they were now seeking to have him destroyed.

She added: “I had been honest with them thinking that they were trying to help me but as soon as they got their hands on him, they said ‘right, we’ve got a pit bull, we are destroying him’.”

As with the case of Hank in 2016, legislation exists that even if a dog is assessed as a pit bull type breed, if it is assessed as not dangerous it can be returned under certain conditions such as being chipped, neutered, insured and is kept on a leash and muzzled in public.

For Zyndzie, however, many questions have been raised.

She added: “I have known that dog his entire life. I was there when he was born, I even had to break the sac because his mum Honey was too tired from her labour.

“I would trust Boy Boy, that’s his nickname, more than I would trust any other dog I have ever known.”

Zyndzie’s case, where the council is applying to Newtownards Magistrates Court for a destruction order for Boxer, is to be mentioned later this week.

A full formal hearing is set to take place on October 18.

A council spokesperson said because “this case is currently subject to court proceedings, Ards and North Down Borough Council will therefore refrain from commenting on this matter at this time”.

The family have launched a fundraising campaign.

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