Carlisle family's anger as their 'dangerous' dog is left lonely and upset
A family say their pet dog has been left lonely and upset because red tape means it must spend its days in an empty house.
The Broughton family say their nine-year-old dog Marney is soft-hearted and harmless, but being an American pit bull-presa canario cross means she falls under the provisions of the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The registered owner is 27-year-old Alec Broughton, who until recently lived at his family home in Creighton Avenue, on Carlisle's Raffles estate. But he recently moved to Lyndhurst Gardens, Morton, with his partner Lisa Ferguson.
Alec's sister Kayley, 24, and her and Alec's mum had hoped that Marney could stay on with them in Creighton Avenue.
But they say police told them that current law means the dog has to stay in the home of her official owner – even though Alec now works away during the week and his partner Lisa works during the day.
“Marney just isn't settling in Alec's house,” said Kayley.
“She's obviously upset at having to move out of the house she's always lived in. She's just not her usual happy self. Alec moved out a couple of weeks ago, and Lisa is out at work all day.
"So it makes no sense to have Marney living at their house.
“Marney was crying all last night.
“She has lived at our house in Creighton Avenue all her life and this is the only place she knows. We just want her back home. It all started two weeks ago when we got a knock on the door and it was a police officer.
“We were told that Alec had a week to take Marney to his house in Lyndhurst Gardens. He wasn't ready and had to quickly put up a fence. They said she'd have to be taken otherwise she'd be taken away and put down.
“They've said there's nothing we can do about it other than if my brother dies or if he becomes seriously ill. We've been told Marney can have 30 days a year when she can 'sleep out' but that's it.
“So she's been kicked out of her home.”
Hospital healthcare assistant Kayley and her mum are doing everything they can to check up on Marney and take her for walks but they say it would make far more sense is she could just live in their home with them.
Their shift patterns mean that they can be be around most of the time. "There's nothing dangerous Marney," said Kayley. "She just a big cuddly teddy bear.”
Six years ago, the dog was placed on a Dangerous Dogs Act "exempt list," meaning that Alec had to adhere to a set of conditions to continue keeping her.
At the time, he said: “I've had Marney since she was a puppy. I got her at Appleby Horse Fair from a man who told me she was an American bull dog crossed with Presa Canario."
He said Marney had never shown any signs of aggression.
A spokesman for Defra, which issues guidance on issues surrounding the Dangerous Dogs Act, said he could not comment on this specific case.