Suspected Pitbull
A DOG suspected of being an illegal breed was seized in a dramatic police raid in Cheltenham. Handlers with electric shields, nooses and a taser raided the house and removed the animal. A 20-year-old man, suspected of being the owner, was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of an illegal breed of dog. Barking could be heard from inside as 10 officers, including three expert dog handlers, entered the house in Alstone Avenue at 1.30pm yesterday. The brown and white animal, called Bodger, was seen barking at the window of a downstairs room as officers co-ordinated a plan to capture it. Minutes later, the dog was led out of the house with two officers controlling it with dog control poles and a third with a taser, which was not used, close at hand. The animal, which was put in a cage in the back of a police car, is due to be examined by an expert today to see if it is an illegal breed. If it is, it could be destroyed. Speaking at the scene, Sergeant Mark Duncton, from the police dogs section, said: "Community concerns had been raised about a potentially dangerous dog living at the address. "It is believed it has bitten at least one person. This is not just about prohibited dogs – this may or may not be one, we don`t yet know. "It is about addressing the concerns of risk to the public and putting control measures in place to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous dogs. "This may or may not be a pitbull." He said the removal of the animal from the house required the expertise of a dog handler. He said: "The dog was displaying a lot of aggression (in the house). The only safe way to remove it was by use of two dog control poles. "We had the use of an electric shield and a taser as a safeguard if required, but we didn`t use them." What was believed to be cannabis was also found at the property. Sergeant Mark Vickers, who led the operation, said: "I was very pleased with the execution of the warrant. Safety is paramount and no one was hurt. "We will respond to the concerns of the community and would urge anyone who has information they think could help police to get in contact." Several incidents of dogs attacking people and other dogs have been recorded in Hester`s Way. In October, teenager Leah Sands watched in horror as a Staffordshire bull terrier mauled her Yorkshire terrier Alfie to death. Neighbours said they were glad to see the police taking action. A 25-year-old woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "I have heard the dog barking before, but I have not seen any dangerous behaviour. "I`m glad the police are checking it. There are a lot of children living in this street, so I would rather they were safe than sorry." A 28-year-old man, who lived in the area and did not want to be named, added: "I didn`t know there was a dog living there. It`s worth the police checking. "Even if it`s not a banned breed, the police have a responsibility to check. I feel reassured they`ve done it."

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