Officers with Tasers seized dog in Huntingdon after ownership dispute

Police seized the Yorkshire terrier from Hayley Scanlan's home in Huntingdon.

Police seized the Yorkshire terrier from Hayley Scanlan's home in Huntingdon. - Credit: Supplied/Hayley Scanlan

A terrified mother-of-two says she feared for her life after police officers arrived at her house to seize the family's tiny Yorkshire terrier.  

Hayley Scanlan, 28, refused to hand over the dog called Bobby at her home in Huntingdon before police called for back-up.  

Officers from Bedfordshire Police were sent to the quiet cul-de-sac with a warrant to seize the dog after a dispute broke out over who owned the animal. Hayley says she took the dog in because an elderly neighbour was struggling to look after him. The dog is microchipped and the owner linked to that microchip, who lives in Luton, phoned police to say he had been stolen.

Bedfordshire Police arrived with a battering ram. 

Bedfordshire Police arrived with a battering ram. - Credit: Supplied/Hayley Scanlan

Unarmed officers arrived first, but when Hayley refused to open the door, she says two armed officers turned up and sealed off the street. 

She refused to give up her seven-year-old pooch for almost an hour before giving in when an officer pulled out a battering ram.  

Hayley told The Sun: “They [officers] were banging on the door so hard I thought someone was trying to break in. 

“I refused to give up Bobby until I spoke to a solicitor or my aunt who is a magistrate so I understood my rights. 

Bobby and six-year-old Hugo.

Bobby and six-year-old Hugo. - Credit: Supplied/Hayley Scanlan

“But they told me I had 10 minutes before they’d remove him by force. I feared for my life. It was terrifying.  

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“I didn’t want to let them take my dog away but when I saw the armed police and one officer grab the clamp to bash the door in, I knew I had no choice.” 

Hayley’s husband lian, 32, looked after their seven-month-old daughter Dolcie and comforted their son Hugo, six, who was upstairs crying during the ordeal. 

Hayley's family in Huntingdon. 

Hayley's family in Huntingdon. - Credit: Supplied/Hayley Scanlan

Bedfordshire police say they understand there was a dispute over the dog’s ownership and have tried to investigate the matter fairly and sensitively, but were unable to find a resolution.

Bobby was returned to the Luton address after the warrant was enforced and Hayley has now launched an online appeal to get the dog back as she says she is the dog's owner.

Crying Hugo cradling Bobby during the raid in Huntingdon.

Crying Hugo cradling Bobby during the raid in Huntingdon. - Credit: Supplied/Hayley Scanlan

Detective Inspector Melissa Cunningham said: “Last week we executed a warrant in Huntingdon in connection to reports that a dog had been stolen in Luton.

“We understand there is a dispute over the dog’s ownership, and have tried to investigate this matter as fairly and as sensitively as we can to both parties over a number of months. However, despite speaking repeatedly to both sides we have ultimately been unable to come to a resolution.

“The dog is microchipped to an owner in Luton who has reported that the dog has been stolen, this is supported by witness statements.

“This is why we carried out the warrant last week, seized the dog in question and returned it to its legal owner.

“In terms of resources, two officers who were nearby were called to the scene to assist with a potential forced entry after police were refused entry to the property.

“However, they were not needed and the dog was eventually handed over to officers.

“We have provided a full update to the RSPCA on this incident and will continue to work with them as required to ensure the dog’s welfare.”