Dogs hanging from trees in Gloucester Park to strengthen jaws
ILLEGAL fighting dogs are being made to hang from trees in Gloucester to strengthen their jaws.
Police have had a number of reports from residents about dog teeth marks on tree branches in Gloucester Park.
It is believed the marks are as a result of owners of dogs used for fighting or protection hanging their animals by their teeth to strengthen their jaws.
"There is only one reason why these teeth marks are there and why people would do this," said police dog handler PC Rich Hunt.
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"These dogs are being conditioned to fight or for security reasons – it strengthens their jaws.
"A dog's natural reaction will be too clamp onto the branch if it cannot reach the ground and hang there. This method is known to us and is quite common."
Despite no reports of illegal dog fighting happening in the county currently, Mr Hunt believes it is a cause for worry.
He said: "We are concerned about it and are keen to speak to anyone who has seen this kind of activity happening. It is usually illegal dogs who are used in this way.
"Quite recently we seized dogs from a property in Podsmead and we also found a tyre attached to a chain there. They would use this to hang the tyre up which the dogs would then hang on to. This circle of people need to be stopped and we really need the help of the public in tracing them."
Police swooped on three flats in Byron Avenue on Friday, August 24 and took away four pets after concerns from the community there.
Two of the dogs were found to be an illegal breed, prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act, and were put to sleep. The other two have been returned after not being found to be dangerous
Police have also had reports of this kind of activity through Twitter. Gloucester Police's dog unit can be tweeted at @glospoldogblog.