Justice For Angel campaigners stage protest demanding change after dog shot dead in Hartlepool
Campaigners held a public protest today to renew calls for an inquiry into the shooting dead of a dog in Hartlepool.
The Caucasian shepherd was destroyed by police after being left tied to a pole on open ground near Mainsforth Terrace, Hartlepool, on Sunday, January 21.
This afternoon, around a dozen people turned out to a protest organised by the Justice for Angel group at the site where the dog was killed.
The group, who were joined by Hartlepool MP Mike Hill, want to raise awareness of the incident and make sure that nothing similar happens in future.
Jenna Davies, 29, an administrator for the group, said: “We want to ensure things change. We want protocols changed and procedures changed. “We want to incorporate an national register, so that if this situation ever happens again we have capture teams on hand to rescue dogs safely and have sanctuaries ready to take on the animals.
“We have set up an online petition to make sure all animals are assessed in a safe and calm manner, and to set up a public inquiry to find out what went wrong. “We believe mistakes were made and we want to ensure this never happens again.”
Many people in the town were left upset after the dog, which campaigners have named Angel, was destroyed.
There were calls from many present for an independent investigation into the case, claiming the animal did not have to be killed.
An online petition seeking justice for the dog attracted more than 92,000 signatures.
A new petition has been set up online which needs 100,000 signatures to get the issue discussed in Parliament.
Cleveland Police defended their decision to shoot the animal, saying at the time that they had worked together with a number of veterinary professionals, the RSPCA and a re-homing charity throughout.
They said this led to the decision to destroy the dog, saying it was extremely aggressive and unapproachable. Mr Hill said: “I am here to show support for Justice for Angel who are campaigning for improvements in the way in which services are coordinated for animal rescues in the future.
“The point of the campaign is all about joined up thinking going forward, and I am sure that those organisations who were involved on the day would analyse whether things could have been done better and, if they could, would work together to see if there is a better way.”
*Suleman Halane, 22, of Baden Street, Hartlepool, has been charged with being the owner or being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control on January 21.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge during a short preliminary hearing at Teesside Magistrates’ Court last week.
He was released on unconditional bail and a trial date has been set for May 18.