We read this yesterday and went from outrage to horror, to reassured to uneasy, to gobsmacked to grossed out within minutes. Umm. Well. Let's take it from the top...
Ricardo Byfield, 27, and Lisa Harvey, 34, were in Acton Magistrates court recently both pleading guilty to owning and breeding banned dogs. 26 dogs were found in the pair's one bedroom maisonette in Northolt, 21 of those were pitbull terriers - that's not very good. Those poor dogs. It must have been overcrowded and uncomfortable.
But despite the overcrowding, Sgt Ian McParland reassured the court that the dogs were mainly in good health and kept in good conditions - that's good to hear. The dogs were also found to be of very good breeding families; some were descendants of 'pitbull royalty' and could be traced back to the first pitbulls brought into the country. Some were descendants of well known fighting bloodlines and were worth thousands of pounds if sold to the fighting dog market. Ooh, that's interesting. They're good dogs with important careers ahead of them.
It would clearly have paid to take good care of the dogs, which seemed to be the gameplan of Byfield and Harvey: as well as clean conditions, there was a treadmill for the dogs to use for building up their shoulder muscles and papers that documented some of them as Champion or Grand Champion fighters. Wait - having papers means they were kept legally, no?
And, hang on a minute, should we be pleased they're fighting dogs? Isn't dog fighting unpleasant and cruel?
It is costing the police £250 a day to keep the dogs in custody and the total bill to date is approximately £85,000. That's a deposit on an average flat in Northolt. Not sure if we should be outraged at the price of keeping these dogs in custody or outraged that they haven't been rehomed yet or... well, we just feel obliged to be outraged. £85,000 is a lot of money!
And then... the power chord shaking up the entire article so that all the confused feelings of pity, anger, reassurance and bafflement fall away in a loud cry of 'oh, what the f**K?':
In custody one of the bitches ate her litter of six pups.
We're just going to concentrate on cats from now on.
Image taken from Tatiana Sapateiro's Flickr photostream.