‘Weapon dogs’ being traded for games consoles and mobile phones in London
NewsTuesday 10 September 2013
A worrying trend is happening in some parts of London where ‘weapon dogs’ are being traded online for items such as mobile phones and games consoles, campaigners have warned as well as illegal breeds such as pit bull terriers being found for sale.
The research was done by The Pet Advertising Advisory Group and speaking on behalf of them Clarissa Baldwin said that "Our research has revealed some truly terrible examples where animal welfare was clearly the last thought in the mind of the advertiser. Every day we hear from people who have bought an animal online only for it to fall sick or die soon after."
One such advert was listed online by someone who was offering a “fighting dog with big teeth”. Another by a south London-based owner posted a message offering a Staffordshire bull terrier for £120 “I don’t mind swapping for a ps3, xbox 360, nintendo wii, laptop, moped.”
The ads are appearing on sites like Facebook and Gumtree.
Criminals have them so that they are status symbols amongst their peers and also to be a warning to rivals. What is also shocking is that if an owner cannot be found then the dogs are simply dumped and can be a huge danger to members of the public.
A criminologist Dr Simon Harding said that in the underworld puppy farms breed “status” weapon dogs worth thousands of pounds from flats and garages across London.
He said that “It’s this idea some young men have that the dog has got to bring a credible threat of violence. To do that, they have to be sufficiently aggressive. If they are not, it will bring ridicule on the owner among their peer group.”