A dog that was seized following an incident in Potters Bar has been returned to its delighted owners.

On the evening of Wednesday, June 29 police were called to Darkes Lane after concerns were raised about a dog*. Officers attended and the dog was seized.

After being checked over by a vet, the dog was then taken to police kennels and seen by Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Dangerous Dog Advisor Peter Madden who found the dog to be a banned breed – a Pit Bull type.

Although initially the dog’s microchip scan came back without a reading, a second scan then revealed the dog – called Bruno – was actually reported missing from an address in London on June 25. Bruno had become scared of nearby fireworks and ran away.

The owners – Mr Sotiris Kyriacou and his daughter Stephanie – were contacted the same day to let them know where Bruno was and that he was safe and well. They didn’t contest his type and so began the process of getting him exempted lawfully.

Peter has been working with the family and supported their application for an Interim Exemption Certificate (IEC). The order allows a dog to return home pending a court hearing.

Following further assessment, the BCH Dog Unit’s Inspector authorised the IEC on Friday, July 26 and Bruno is now back at home with his family. A permanent Certificate of Exemption will now be applied for through a magistrate.

Peter said: “We are really happy that Bruno has been reunited with his owners who have naturally been very worried since his disappearance. After carrying out a demanding risk assessment we found Bruno to be a lovely tempered dog and so we’re pleased to have been able to use this legislation to start his family on the right track in getting a permanent exemption.

“This case also shows the importance of ensuring your dog is microchipped, which has been compulsory in law since April this year.”

Mr Kyriacou said: “We are absolutely delighted to have Bruno back with us and we cannot thank the police enough for all their work in finding him and helping us in keeping him.”

• *Paul Sanders, aged 49 and of Durants Road, Enfield, appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court on July 1 charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in connection with the incident. He is currently on bail and is due to appear at the same court on August 30.

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