Suspected pit bull seized after passing through customs

Image source, Veronika Benhakak
Image caption, The puppy called Gulietta was microchipped and had a pet passport before being brought to Jersey from Slovakia on Sunday

A "pit bull" type dog has been seized by Jersey customs two days after it was allowed to go home with its owners.

Owner Veronika Benhakak was told the puppy must be returned to Europe or put in kennels, where it could be put down.

The States of Jersey said the dog would remain in custody whilst the matter was "being investigated".

Image source, Veronika Benhakak
Image caption, Gulietta is to remain "in custody" while investigations are carried out

Two days after going home with Miss Benhakak and her partner the Jersey Customs and Immigration Service rang to ask for a follow up meeting.

Customs officials then outlined that the dog must be seized in line with the Customs and Excise Order 2006, which states it is illegal to import pit bulls into Jersey.

Miss Benhakak and her partner are seeking legal action, and they insist Gulietta is an American Staffordshire terrier, based on the breed of the dog's parents.

Image source, Jason Gomes
Image caption, The last publicised case involving a pit bull in Jersey was Mr Bronx, who was taken away from its family and kennelled, but allowed to remain on the island under strict conditions

A States of Jersey spokesperson said: "The dog in question was allowed to remain in the care of its owner at the time of importation, Sunday 26 February 2017, while the necessary advice was taken about whether the animal was likely to be of a pit bull type.

"This involved examining pictures of the dog's parents that had been provided by the importer.

"The following day, advice was received from three independent sources that the dog was likely to be of the pit bull type."

Gulietta will remain in custody while the case is "under investigation".

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