A widow is distraught after police took away her best friend, a six-inch tall Yorkshire Terrier, when they received reports he had bitten a postman.
Little Albert is now in ‘doggy jail’ waiting his sentence for allegedly biting the postman, which owner Ann Anderson says is impossible, because he lost most of his teeth.
Ann, 77, has lived alone for more than 30 years after losing her husband – until she saved the terrier three years ago.
Since then, Ann and ‘little Albert’ have been inseparable at their home in Epsom, Surrey – until a magistrate ordered the ‘dangerous dog’ seized.
She says she was left ‘shaking uncontrollably’ after being threatened with arrest for when she refused to give up her dog – who only has four tiny upper teeth after losing all his other ones through previous mistreatment.
The retired bar manager said: “The little dog likes to sit outside, he lays there on his lead and just watches everything go by.
“He is just such a character – everybody around here knows him and come to say hello.
“Albert has had a difficult life, he has had two previous owners and I saved him, nursed him back to health and had him micro-chipped and vaccinated.
“When I got him, I noticed his wee teeth kept falling out, I found the little things in the carpet – he only weighed six pounds.”
Action was taken against six-year-old Albert – after it was alleged he bit two people on different occasions.
The toothless terrier ‘nipped a woman’s ankle’ in April, which led to Ann having to sign a dog control measure.
Now, a report has been made on an ‘attack’ that saw the gummy dog bite at a postwoman’s letters in July.
Ann said that she was offered three options by the police, ‘euthanasia’, rehoming, or to go to court to pay a fine.
She said: “I’m not destitute, but I don’t quite have the money to pay a fine – but I would use any credit card to pay it, I just want him back.”
A whopping 57,000 people have now signed an online petition which looks to reunite the companions.
Her daughter, Donna Salah, said: “Police arrived at my mother’s house with vans, two officers and a sergeant – just to seize her tiny Yorkie.
“He has been accused of attacking a postal worker, police have it on camera, where it shows him just grabbing some letters.”
This led a magistrate to demand the seizure of Albert – much to the horror of owner Ann – with the two never parting.
On August 24, Ann was at her home in Epsom, Surrey, when two police officers and a sergeant arrived on her doorstep.
They demanded she hand over her beloved companion, after it was claimed she broke her dog control measure this summer.
The agreement meant Ann was required to control the dog, including a muzzle, lead, and preventing further injuries to the public.
She tried to stop officers from seizing Albert but was told she would be arrested if she did not hand him over.
Ann said: “The complaint from the postwoman doesn’t make sense, I had Albert on his lead an he just tried to take a letter.
“He wouldn’t harm anyone, he’s such a happy, sweet little thing – and he’s great around children.
“I’m lost without him, to be honest my nerves are shot and I feel as if I could have a heart attack.”
Surrey Police said they had received ‘several complaints’ about the behaviour of the dog that led to its seizure.
Officers said the dog would not be ‘destroyed’, but would have to be surrendered and rehomed.
Ann has since requested the case be taken to court, and Surrey Police is awaiting a court date.
She claimed she hasn’t been allowed to visit Albert at the kennel he was taken – and now fears she will never see him again.
Donna added: “We have a petition to free Albert – we are nearly at 60,000 signatures, signed by people from all over the world.
“The disregard for pensioners is appalling – this is a clear misuse of this dangerous dogs act law and an utter waste of public resources.”
Ann added: “I used to have faith in the police, but after the way they have treated me I have lost my respect for them.”
A police spokesperson said: “On 7 April 2018, we received a report of a Yorkshire terrier biting the ankles of a woman.
“Officers investigated and, as a result of the investigation, the dog’s owner agreed to sign a Dog Control Measure.
“This is an agreement to control the dog while in public (including wearing a muzzle and lead); and to ensure the dog is not able to escape its garden; in order to prevent further injury to members of the public.
“Officers explained to the owner that failure to comply with any of the conditions may lead to the dog being seized and rehomed.
“On 5 July we received reports from a member of the public concerned about the behaviour of the dog, and we received a further report on 20 July that the dog had been left outside insecure, and had bitten a postal worker.
“Officers investigated the incidents and obtained a Dog Seizure Warrant from the Magistrate’s Court.
“The dog was seized on 24 August, and the dog is currently at a kennel where it is being assessed by the staff.
“As a result of the assessment, the decision has been made that the dog should not be destroyed.
“The owner was given the options of either choosing to surrender the dog, in order for it to be rehomed or taking the case back to Magistrates Court
“The owner of the dog has requested the case is taken to court, and we are currently awaiting a court date.”