View Full Version : URGENT Bring Bruce home - will be pts monday due to BSL

2nd July 2009, 06:45 PM
Crossposted from RHU (originally crossposted from The Refuge.)

Please crosspost for Bruce:

Thursday 2nd July 2009:

Eleventh Hour Mercy Plea to Save Death Row Dog Bruce:


Dog lovers around the world have reacted in horror to the recent news that the high profile case of pet dog “Bruce” may finally be over as a court orders he be destroyed in a few days time ending an exhaustive twenty one month battle to save him.

Bruce was a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier living happily with his family in Northern Ireland. On September 19th 2007 Bruce was seized by council officials as an alleged “pit bull type” and taken to secluded kennels whilst his owner was taken to court for owning a banned type of dog contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act (Northern Ireland) Order 1991.

Whilst incarcerated in kennels his family were allowed to visit their dog in October 2007, Bruce had lost weight, muscle tone and had an open cut to his muzzle. Five months later Bruce was allowed a second visit from his family in March 2008, they were shocked with what they found: The wound on Bruce's muzzle was larger, weeping and had become infected, he tail had been amputated due to damage and infection, he had open pressure sores, was underweight and looked totally broken and rejected, yet despite the clear pain he was in, is described by experts as being a friendly dog that poses no danger to the public.
See: Video-Bruce

A trial was heard at Bangor Magistrates' Court on 27th August 2008 and the court determined that Bruce was “of type” despite the evidence from two expert identification witnesses who said he was not. Judgement was given two weeks later on the 12th September and Bruce was ordered destroyed devastating his family and supporters.
A legal appeal was lodged and a brief hearing on the 12th November 2008 listed the case for mention on 12th January 2009.

A further hearing in March 2009 was scheduled to set a date for the full Appeal. But, as we understand it, at this hearing the Judge gave Bruce a reprieve, as she believed Bruce does not pose a danger to the public. It was unclear how this potentially groundbreaking ruling would proceed as the Judge did not contest that Bruce had been found to be a pit bull type but decided as he posed no danger to the public he could be returned to his owner under the conditions that apply to pit bull types in England: Bruce's owner was trying to obtain third party liability insurance for him as a pit bull type in Northern Ireland. As it is illegal to have a “pit bull type” in Northern Ireland no insurance company was able to offer insurance cover.
A further court date was set for 29th June 2009 to decide how this ruling for Bruce could proceed and the Judge ordered destruction.

In a desperate attempt to save Bruce, owner Shannon Brown, supporters and neighbours have created petitions, online networking groups and videos resulting in worldwide support to “Bring Bruce Home”. Bruce remains on canine death row, removed from his family home, alone and unaware of the worldwide support he has to spare his life.

Despite being debated several times, Northern Ireland has not adopted the provisions within the1997 Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Act allowing friendly pet dogs found to be unlawful by appearance, but posing no danger to the public, to be allowed to live. In England, Scotland and Wales, a dog found to be “pit bull type” by the courts can be ordered entered onto the Index of Exempted Dogs as an alternative to destruction. If the Amendment had been accepted in Northern Ireland, the court would have been able to exercise discretion as with the rest of the UK - Bruce is likely to have been home long before now, alive and well registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

If Bruce lived across the border in Southern Ireland where no breeds are nationally banned he would never have been seized and imprisoned at all. Bruce has been offered a place of safety with a dedicated rescue and sanctuary in Southern Ireland where he could legally live out the rest of his life; this offer has been conveyed in writing to the solicitor but has sadly not been accepted by the court.

Bruce hasn't actually ever put a paw wrong; he is sentenced to death due to the way he looks and the fact that NI has a mandatory death penalty unlike the rest of the UK who gave the courts discretion when sentencing twelve years ago.

Bruce and his family have endured much mental and physical anguish and pain solely due to a draconian law. His owner is simply a young dog owner who has been struggling for nearly two years to save her dogs life.

All that needs to be done to let a friendly dog live is for Bruce to be allowed safe passage from Northern to Southern Ireland and Bruce needs your support again during his eleventh hour.

We are asking supporters to contact the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Shaun Woodward MP) and Ministers urging them to use compassion and discretion by granting Bruce a Pardon removing the penalty imposed – the mandatory death sentence with the provision that Bruce is moved to the rescue placement ready and waiting for him in Southern Ireland. For a nation who claims to be animal lovers this would be the expected outcome.

As the court has ordered that Bruce be destroyed someone will be expected to administer the fatal injection. Veterinary surgeons take a sworn oath and promise to safeguard the welfare of animals committed into their care.

In line with this sworn promise we are calling on all veterinary professionals within the UK to take a stand and refuse to kill Bruce - a healthy, wanted animal who poses no danger to the public & has a rescue space waiting for him in Eire. Bruce’s legal owner does not give consent for Bruce to be destroyed.

Please help by contacting the relevant authorities (template letters available) – details below to add your support to “Saving Bruce”.

For Further Information – Please Contact:

DDA Watch
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 0844 844 2900

Endangered Dogs Defence & Rescue
[email protected]

__________________________________________________ ___________________

Urgent Plea for a Pardon/Intervention to Allow Export of Bruce to Eire:

• The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Shaun Woodward MP
Northern Ireland Office, 11 Millbank, London, SW1P 4PN
Fax: 01744 24306

• The Rt Hon Peter Robinson MP MLA – First Minister
• Martin McGuinness MP MLA – deputy First Minister
• Jeffrey Donaldson MP - http://www.jeffreydonaldson.org
• Gerry Kelly MLA
Email: [email protected]
Letters to: GD36 Stormont Castle, Stormont Estate, Belfast BT4 3TT

• Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP - Home Secretary
Letters to: 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF,
Email: [email protected]

Urgent Plea to Refuse to Administer Fatal Injection:

Please urge your members not to participate in the death of Bruce.

• Veterinary Ireland – Representative body for veterinary surgeons in Ireland
Email: [email protected]

• Veterinary Northern Ireland (VetNI)
Email: [email protected]
Secretary General – [email protected]

• Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
Email: [email protected] & [email protected] Fax: (020) 7222 2004

Urgent Plea to Help & Support Innocent Dog Bruce:

• Northdown Borough Council
The Mayor
C/o Town Hall, The Castle, Bangor, BT20 4BT
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 28 9127 8067

Template Letters for Bruce:

Please go to each one seperately as the contact details will differ - Thank You!




2nd July 2009, 06:49 PM
I thought he'd been saved already :cry:

Poor poor boy.

2nd July 2009, 07:09 PM
bruce is also on the irish forum. egar has offered to take bruce. bruce could have been home with his family if the owner could get a licence but of colurse the part of ireland she is she cant. it has also been on the irish forum that the owner hasnt been attending the court cases. and that she has another dog. not all what it seems

2nd July 2009, 07:11 PM
How can they just give up on him and get another dog? Poor little Bruce = its not his fault.

2nd July 2009, 07:25 PM
I don't know any details about what's gone on with the owner but she has been posting on bebo today and she is actively trying to get him out. If the appeal suceeds I think he will probably have to go to Rescue in the Republic of Ireland anyway.

There has been an update on bebo and the owner says she has been told he has more time but the sentence still stands.


2nd July 2009, 07:30 PM
if you register in petsinireland forum. its all there about bruce and how long this has been going on for

3rd July 2009, 08:29 PM
:cry3: :cry3: :cry3: :cry3: :cry3: poor poor baby :cry3: :cry3: :cry3:

4th July 2009, 06:44 AM
This is absolutely awful........cant we get him over here....poor boy. He dont look that old either x

5th July 2009, 05:39 PM
I will be firing letters off tomorrow - poor poor boy he looks only a little one and the state he sounds to be in....grrrrrr red tape makes me SICK :argh: :angry2: :argh: :angry3: :angry3: :gah: :gah:

Sorry rant off.

Even if he cant go home there is a rescue waiting to keep him forever - what is their huge problem.

8th July 2009, 01:38 PM
Omg this is disgraceful and disgusting. Im crying for poor Bruce. Why cant they juts let the Bruce travel to SI tosafety for goodness sakes.

Just wondering if there could be a loop in the system here, what if a uk vet was found but once over in the UK Bruce could then be protected under our laws and not destroyed?

11th July 2009, 08:30 PM
Anyone heard anything on this case?

Rescue Remedies
3rd July 2010, 12:07 PM
Bruce is being released into a rescue home is Southern Ireland!

A post by the person who Bruce will be released to:

3rd July 2010, 02:34 PM
there is a thread here viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9118 (http://www.forum.animallifelineuk.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9118)