Belfast Telegraph

My dog protects me from paramilitaries.. he is spoilt rotten: Belfast dog owner at centre of mistaken 'hanging' video storm bites back

By Mark Edwards

The owner of a dog which was filmed in Belfast by someone who wrongly thought it was being hanged has spoken of the distress and hurt the spread of the video caused, saying his pet is spoilt rotten and he is a vital guard dog against paramilitaries.

Over the weekend video footage emerged on social media which apparently showed a dog being hanged in the New Lodge area.

The video sparked a furious police reaction saying they were determined to catch those responsible for this "horrible" crime.

However, the PSNI moved on Monday to clarify that the video in fact showed the animal being trained, saying after visiting the owner the animal was in good health.

It's owner Andre Perrott, speaking on the Frank Mitchell radio show, said he was training the dog for a competition and to be a guard dog after being the victim of paramilitaries in the area. He said he was distressed at the claims.

"I look after my dog better than I look after myself," he said. "What I am doing, I am training my dog for a competition, which is a strength competition for the breed. It is also a guard dog, so I have to teach him commands and that is exactly what I was doing. People do jump to conclusions."

Mr Perrott said that he trained his dog by letting him hang from a piece of rubber by his teeth.

Asked whether this was cruel, he said: "I reject that 100% and actually I have had the welfare police in the house. My dog has no scars, I am a very proud dog owner. I do like my dog showing his muscles and that is the reason I do this with my dog.

"I also do this for protection. I was the victim of paramilitaries. Three times I was attacked in my own house. That is one of the reasons I have a dog like that."

Posting on Facebook on Monday morning, Mr Perrott said he was very distressed after hearing claims of him hanging his dog.

He said: "Anyone who knows me will know I look after my dog better than I look after me, he is spoilt rotten, he is obedient, fit and I put a lot of time and effort into my dog...

"My dog is a year and half old American Bulldog, he is an active dog that I exercise in a daily basis, a trained dog, a protection dog.

"Although he is a protection dog, he is very good with people and everyone really likes him.

"I've had people at my door, I feel harassed after this situation... I do understand that if hanging was the case, yes something should be done, but people jump into conclusions."

Posted by Andre Perrott on Monday, March 12, 2018

After investigation on Monday, police said they were satisfied no crime had been committed. They visited Mr Perrott and confirmed the animal was in good health.

Chief Inspector Kelly Moore added: “After extensive enquiries following a post on social media about suspected abuse of a dog, Police located the dog owner. We have visited the dog owner this morning along with colleagues from Animal Welfare in Belfast City Council.

“I can confirm after the visit that the dog is in good health and no abuse had taken place. Rather the dog was being trained and was playing with a toy. We are satisfied that no crime has taken place and that the animal is well looked after.”

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