A puppy detained by police after biting an officer has now been returned to his owners following public outcry.
Bungle, a chow chow, had been taken to a secret location and faced up to nine months in doggy jail for the offence.
However he is now back with his family, who have agreed to a voluntary control order (VCO).
In a statement, his owners David and Susan Hayes and son Joseph, 15, said: ‘A very understanding police officer brought Bungle home to us. Bungle was SSSOOOO pleased to see us and excited. It was lovely.’
The incident began when Bungle was cornered by Northamptonshire Police on November 17th after being spotted loose in the road in Towcester.
The four-month-old had rushed out of the family drive before the electric gates could shut and was found nearby cowering under a lorry on the A508.
He was deemed a danger to road users but as he was cornered, he twice nipped at a cop and was seized.
The Hayes family appointed lawyers to fight for Bungle’s release, accusing the force of acting in a ‘draconian’ way.
A Facebook group calling for the puppy’s release attracted more than 5,000 members and a petition was also set up.
At the time, the family told the Sun: ‘We feel hugely comforted that it is not just us that feels the outcome of this accident is grossly draconian and disproportionate.’
On Thursday evening, Northamptonshire Police said a specialist dog handler had met with the family and the owners had agreed to the VCO. This means they have to ensure Bungle remains under control at all times.
Chief Superintendent Chris Hillery defended police handling of the case.
He said the decision to detain Bungle had been taken ‘in the context of some very real and serious cases involving dog bites that have resulted in serious life-changing injuries and even death locally and nationally’.
Mr Hillery added the officer who was bitten is ‘recovering well.’
He continued: ‘To be absolutely clear, I fully support the officers’ actions in this case, the dog was unattended in a live carriageway and was aggressive to those present, resulting in the officer being bitten and receiving injuries that required hospital attention.
‘The potential risk posed by the dog at that time is not diminished by its age or that it was frightened.
‘Having already bitten the officer twice, causing puncture wounds and bruising, it would have been negligent to release a dog displaying such obvious aggression, regardless of the cause, without first ensuring both the dog’s and the wider public’s safety.’
The force reminded owners of their responsibility to ensure their pets are under control and do not present a danger to the wider public at any time.