I've just watched a nasty little video clip (taken from a safe distance) of the policeman who knocked on the door of a suspected drug dealer in London yesterday, being mauled by a pitbull dog. You can probably find it on You Tube if you want to see it, but I won't post it up here.
It takes a bit of watching - the policeman is screaming for help and swearing at the top of his voice as the dog (which is being ineffectually clubbed with a baton at the same time by a fellow officer, making it even more tetchy I would have thought!) takes chunks out of the copper's arms and legs. All the while, his brave fellow officers are trying to get as far away from their desperate colleague as possible, and one of them actually jumps over the wall in the process. That didn't help him though - the huge dog just jumped over after him and took a few chunks out of his legs too. In the stills of the aftermath, great pools of blood can be seen all over the road, and most of the officers were hospitalised, one seriously.
Quite a while later, an armed officer arrives in another car, casually takes a rifle from it's boot, saunters over to where the dog is slavering in the garden and shoots it.
Two lessons can be learned by the Met. from this incident: If you go to arrest a suspect who you know has a pitbull as a pet, then take at least one firearms man with you to shoot it on the spot; and if you find yourself being bitten by a large dog, keep very still and very quiet, without looking at it in the eyes.
The other obvious possibly preventative measure that could be taken is to bring back dog-licences under the 'Dangerous Dogs Act'. They outlawed the owning and breeding of American Pitbull terriers years ago, but that didn't stop a loop-hole whereby the dogs can be bred with a tiny amount of some other, legal breed in their make-up which your average enforcement officer would have a hard job detecting.
That outlawing was principally designed to protect the welfare of the animals rather than humans, because they were being bred for horrific dog-fights at which millions of pounds of ill-gotten money changed hands through gambling. Dog-fighting is still a massive problem, so - once again - an ass has been made of the law. They are called pitbulls because they are bred to fight in pits, as in 'cock-pits'.
I know (as do our local police) at least two renowned drug-dealers in our quiet little tourist town, who have pitbull type dogs which drag them through the street almost uncontrollably on the end of 15-foot, leather leads. They have these long tethers so that they can keep away from whoever the dog is supposed to be attacking, and due to the owner's bad dietary habits and drug-abuse, the dogs are usually about 5 times stronger than them. These are not pets they are weapons.
A few years ago, a brave policeman rushed to the aid of a small girl who was being mauled by a Rottweiler in a public park. As you know, British police are not generally armed, so the officer grabbed the Rottweiler around it's massive, thick and muscular neck, and actually managed to hang on long enough to strangle it to death.
Now I would have thought that they would have awarded this heroic copper a medal for bravery, but no. What did they do instead? An animal rights group tried to have him prosecuted for cruelty! Only in England!