Hank the dog saved after assessment by Belfast City Council

Hank the dog
Hank the dog

A dog seized in Belfast by council officers and police as a potentially dangerous pitbull, will be reunited with its owner following an assessment by Belfast City Council.

An online petition to save ‘Hank’ from being put down has attracted almost 300,000 signatures.

Launching the petition, Hank’s owner Leonard Collins said: “On the 14th July 2016, our family dog, Hank, was taken from my home by 8 police officers and 4 dog wardens. He has been condemned to die because he looks like a pitbull.”

Two years ago, a campaign to save a Belfast dog named Lennox hit the headlines around the world.

Lennox was seized by Belfast City Council in 2010 as an “illegal pit-bull terrier type” dog, and was put to sleep in 2012 following a lengthy legal battle.

However, on this occasion the outcome seems to be a happier one for the dog owner.

East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson has welcomed news that the council’s assessments on Hank - which was confiscated under the Dogs (NI) Order 1983 – have been completed and the council will now apply to a court that Hank be included to an exemption scheme that would allow him to be reunited with his owners.

Mr Robinson, who has been liaising with the council on behalf of the owners since Hank was confiscated, said: “I am pleased that a positive outcome has been reached in this case. I know how stressful it has been for the family over the last number of weeks, but it appears the council have been working through the necessary systems as quickly as possible.”

Hank will be the 12th dog admitted to the exemption scheme by Belfast City Council.