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Locked down musician appeals to police for her dad's dog to be returned to Huntly

By Pat Scott

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A young woman locked down in Glasgow has mobilised local support for her dad to be re-united with his dog.

Iona Fyfe is broken hearted for her dad, James whose dog Dougal was taken from him. James has poor mental health along with alcohol addition and the Covid -19 lockdown has put him under financial pressure. But late last week, his life took a dramatic turn for the worse when police took Dougal, from whom he is inseparable.

Dougal had been injured in a fight with another dog and then, completely out of character also bit his owner.

Iona, a musician, told The Huntly Express: “My father is not without his issues. The past few weeks have been hard on his mental health and he has been very unwell. Last Wednesday he was charged with breach of peace by swearing, but did not have any charges in relation to animal mistreatment or dangerous dogs.

“My father has never mistreated Dougal and Dougal has never been aggressive or bit any other human. He must have been traumatised after the fight or hurt.

“Dad had to go to hospital for treatment for the bite and in his absence, police came and took Dougal from his partner but she is not the owner of the dog.

“When my dad was discharged from hospital on Friday, police returned to collect a signature they never got previously.

“My dad said he was so out of it on his medications and struggled to understand. He had experienced medical and emotional trauma. Fresh out of hospital, on opiate medications he was coerced into signing documents he did not understand with the threat that they would press charges for the mistreatment of animals and would ban him from keeping animals.

“For a man, who is vulnerable and suffering badly from mental health issues, to have his companion and friend taken is despicable.

“The police did not tell my father where they were taking Dougal, and to top the cruelty off, refused to take any of Dougal’s toys or blanket which had his house scent on it, to comfort him.

“There is no grounds for the police taking away my Dad's dog. There was no charge of animal mistreatment or cruelty or neglect.”

Friends have taken to social media in his support, vouching for his love and bond with Dougal.

Others speak of petting Dougal when they see James out and about with the dog. Some have offered to go to the police to testify on his responsible dog ownership.”

Iona has tried to contact the dog warden and has enlisted the help of MP Richard Thompson.

Police Scotland was contacted for a comment on the removal of Dougal but did not respond.

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