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06 DECEMBER 2000

Berlin, 6. Dezember 2000 - Bitch confiscated and killed on the spot.
The story of the Stafford-Mastiff-Bitch Gina, "She did it in front of my five year old son."

On the 6th December 2000 the Stafford-Mastiff bitch Gina was confiscated by a berlin authority veterinarian accompanied by the police and then killed in front of the owner and her five year old child using a "tranquiliser shot.

On the 09 December the report was given to Dog and Society by the owner. She asked us to publish her story as she told it, which we gladly do. Gina's case is not a one off and shows what harsh measures are taken to put the Berlin Dogs Act into practice. A rapid response team executes on the spot. It is a scandal that the dog owner doesn't have the right to get an expert to look at their dog (if necessary paid by them) and that no witnesses are heard. That the government vet takes the dog personally from the owner's premises and then, according to the report, kills it there and then and confiscates the body is, in our eyes, against the law. In this context we would like to draw your attention to the leaflet for concerned owners, which gives legal hints for just such situations. Because, if the door bell rings for dog owners, it's not always father christmas.

Here is the report:

"My name is Melanie Ohorn. I live in Berlin Tempelhof. I have a five year old son and a Bullterrier dog called Carlos. This concerns our Stafford-Mastff-bitch Gina. She was 7 1/2 years old. She was killed by the government vet on the 6th December around 8:10 P.M. Gina was with my mother, when a neighbour rang the doorbell. My mother and the neighbour were talking at the open door when another neighbour came down the stairs with her two Yorkies off the lead. Gina came running out of the flat and wanted, as the witnesses report, to play with the little dog. She picked the Yorkie up by the scruff of it's neck. The little dog didn't make a sound. The neighbour shouted at Gina and pulled on her collar. Gina let the little one go, who again didn't make a sound. When the neighbour picked him up, the little one widdled on her trousers.

Later on I went to see my neighbour to talk to her about it and she said the dog had a broken neck. As I was going back to my mother's flat the government vet and the police stood in the hall. It was the same government vet who had handed me the dogs' tags to say they were o.k. She asked me to get the dog out of my mother's flat immediately. I put Gina on her lead and put her muzzle on her. The government vet told me to walk along the pavement with Gina. As we crossed the road she told me I'd never see my dog again as she had killed that Yorkie. She also pointed out that this was Gina's second incident. I denied this, as my previous dog had to go to a different government vet four years ago because of a biting incident. Gina was with me and had to be introduced as well. Gina hadn't been involved in the biting incident though. The government vet said there on the pavement that she was going to give Gina a tranquiliser shot. I refused as the dog was sitting by my side wagging her tail. I was asked to hold her head for the vet to give her the injection. I cried like mad and my little son too. All of this happened in front of my five year old son.

After Gina got the injection she just collapsed. Her legs just gave. Why does a dog collapse after an unnecessary tranquiliser shot? I then had to put Gina into the boot of the vet's car. I asked her repeatedly what was going to happen to my dog and where it's going. She didn't give me an answer but said I could come to her office on the following day. Saying that she got into the car and drove off. The next day I went to the government vet's office together with a solicitor. The vet was very unfriendly. I asked her where my dog was, she said my dog was dead. I wanted to see my dog, and wanted to take her with me to bury her. She refused to hand me my dead Gina. She also refused to hand me the lead, collar and the death certificate. And she got more and more unfriendly.

Then she asked where my other dog was now. I told her it was none of her business. She grinned. When I asked why she wanted to know, she grinned again. I ran out into the corridor because my emotions ran away with me. I cried and shouted, why did she kill my dog! Only when I had calmed down did I return to her office and asked why she killed my dog. She said my Gina had killed another dog (which, according to it's owners, isn't true). She just went by what the other dog's owner said. She didn't ask witnesses, nor did she wait for a vet's report, who had said that the dog had no external injury. The dog could have died of a broken neck or shock or a heart attack. The real reason for the death could only be done by cutting the dog open. On the same day I went back to the government vet with a friend. I asked her again to hand me my dead Gina and her papers. She answered the dog had been secured. Only when I asked again and again she told me he's away to the animal rubbish dump. She still refused to hand me the papers. I told her that her behaviour and the death of my dog would have consequences and that I would report her to the police. She told me if I carried on behaving like that she'd make sure that I was banned from keeping dogs at all. She would have tests done to see whether I could cope with my second dog, the Bullterrier. The following day I reported the government vet to the police for use of force, damage of goods and theft. I also have reported her to her government department for breach of duty. My little son is going to need help from a doctor/psychologist. He cries and shouts half the night. He saw it all and he doesn't understand why our darling dog isn't coming back. He had grown up with Gina.

Melanie Ohorn,Berlin, 09 Dezember 2000