Police probe as children and five dogs, including XL Bullys, found in 'poor conditions' at Sheffield home
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Officers from South Yorkshire Police were called out to a Sheffield property on Saturday, November 25, 2023, after the force's control room received reports of dogs fighting.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said: "As a result, a mother and her young children were trapped in a single room for their own safety.
"Upon officers’ arrival they found five dogs, believed to be XL Bullys, Cane Corsos and other bully breeds living alongside young children in poor conditions.
"The dogs, who were all significantly underweight, taken by officers and remain in police kennels. The children, including a baby, were safeguarded.
"A 27-year-old was arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and child neglect. He has since been released on police bail while our investigation continues."
Operational Support Unit’s Chief Inspector Emma Cheney added: "This incident is why we urge our communities to report their concerns.
"We are not here to take dogs away from their families, we are not here to put dogs to sleep, we are here to protect people, especially those who cannot protect themselves, such as children.
"During this incident, it is believed that three of the dogs were aggressively fighting.
"One person in the property suffered minor injuries, but the situation could have easily escalated and caused serious injury and even fatality.
"Of the dogs seized, two of them had their ears illegally cropped and enquiries into this will continue, alongside the overall investigation.
"Ear cropping is purely cosmetic to make dogs look more aggressive and fearful, it causes unnecessary pain and suffering to the animal and will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire.
"If you have concerns about dogs, or the safety of children in your neighbourhood, please get in touch.
"We always where possible will try and work with the owner, and put measures in place to protect those living, or visiting a property, but where necessary we will take enforcement action to protect people."
XL Bullys will be added to the banned breed list from December 31, 2023 making it illegal in England and Wales to breed, sell, gift, rehome, abandon, advertise, exchange, or allowed to own stray XL Bullys.
From the end of the year, they must be muzzled and kept on a lead in public, and owners have until the end of January to register them.
Members of the public can report their concerns online, via live chat or by calling 101.
You can remain anonymous by contacting independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-org.uk