A seven-year-old autistic girl has been left heartbroken after police took away her beloved ‘life-line’ dog – because they claim it is a banned breed.
Darla – who dotes on little Maddison Armer and is a constant companion – is a docile cross between a Shar-Pei and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
But local dog wardens reported the three-year-old family pet and police arrived at Maddison’s mum Jenny Armer’s home with a warrant to take her away.
She said: “Police arrived with a warrant to take her because they suspected she was a pitbull. But she is a Shar-Pei crossed with a Staffie.
“My daughter Maddison locked herself in the bathroom with Darla to stop them taking her.
“They said she measures up to a pitbull-type and they don’t need to assess her behaviour.
“They told me I could sign a disclaimer to have her put to sleep or I could fight the decision in the court.
“I have to fight it because she is Maddison’s best friend, she helps keep her calm. If Maddison is having problems, Darla comes and gets me.
“We’ve started a petition and it has been signed by the postman, the binman, the neighbours – she isn’t dangerous at all.
“I have to get her back for my daughter. She is distraught and isn’t sleeping properly.”
Jenny, of Lancaster, Lancs., bought Darla as a puppy after seeing an advert for her online.
The dog’s father was a Shar-Pei and the mother was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – neither of which are on the Dangerous Dogs List.
A petition to save Darla has received almost 7,000 signatures in a week. A Go Fund Me page for legal bills has also been set up a they try and raise money to fight the decision.
Darla is currently being held by police at an undisclosed location and Jenny and her five young children are not allowed to visit her.
Jenny added: “Everyone in the community is behind us, people have been knocking on the door to give support.
“It is really upsetting, Maddison doesn’t understand what has happened.”
Lancashire Constabulary did not respond when asked to comment.
Link to help Jenny and Maddison get Darla back – https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/jenny-armer