Success! Marley the Pit Bull Returned to Family

A week before Christmas 2015, a pit bull named Marley was snatched from her home in Derby, England. It wasn’t the Grinch who took Marley away, but the local police. Why? Because of Marley’s breed, this beloved family dog is considered “dangerous” under the U.K.’s 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

“Marley is not a aggressive dog and has never shown any sort of aggression,” said Marley’s distraught owner, Lauren Stevenson, after her dog was taken away. “She is a family dog and we have had her since she was 7 weeks old. She adores my 3-year-old daughter and we are lost without her.”

Because Stevenson has a young child, the police told her she probably wouldn’t get Marley back. “If we do not get her back, the courts will murder her just shy of her first birthday, just because of the way she looks,” Stevenson said.

Marley the pit bull

“Sleepy cuddles.” Photo credit: Facebook

Under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act – it’s more appropriately been called the “Draconian” Dog Act by some of its opposers — dogs like Marley have been taken from their loving homes only because of what they look like.

The Dangerous Dogs Act includes legislation (BSL) that applies only to certain breeds of dogs.

Its enactment “was a simplistic response to the public mood at the time, and it legislates against certain dog types rather than tackling effective dog rearing and ownership or considering the temperament of individual animals,” wrote Diane Coles, who created a petition demanding Marley’s release. “Evaluations have found it to be ineffective in the Netherlands, Denmark and Spain.”

Because BSL is so ineffective and unfair, it is opposed by every major animal welfare organization in the United States, as well as the White House.

Fortunately, these laws are being repealed around the world. Most recently, when Quebec City Mayor Regis Lebeaume announced he wanted to ban pit bulls, the immediate outrage made him change his mind.

In areas that enforce BSL, people must either rehome their beloved pets in dog-friendlier cities or risk having them confiscated and euthanized. In the U.K., some of these seized dogs languish in police kennel cages for months and months.

Last month, a pit bull mix named Stella was finally released from her cage after two years when she was adopted by a kennel worker. Her owner, Antony Hastie, was heartbroken to have to give her up (the police claimed he was unfit), but he’s glad his precious dog’s life was spared.

Just as they had done for Stella, more than 130,000 Care2 members signed Coles’ petition urging DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and Derby law court to release Marley.

It worked: Seven months after she was seized by police, Marley was returned to her family.

On the Marley’s Army Facebook page June 14, Stevenson posted photos and videos of Marley enjoying her freedom – and a few well-deserved treats.

Marley the pit bull at home

“Mmmm, big bone.” Photo credit: Facebook

Here’s hoping Marley enjoys many years in her loving forever home, and instead of banning pit bulls, the U.K. bans the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Photo credit: Facebook

313 comments

John B
John B6 months ago

Thanks Laura for sharing the news!

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VICKIE W.
VICKIE W11 months ago

I AM VERY HAPPY MARLEY IS BACK HOME! WHERE SHE SHOULD BE WITH HER FAMILY! HAPPY MARLEY AND FAMILY! :)

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Nellie K Adaba
Nellie K Adaba11 months ago

Happy for Marley.

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Saeeda M.
Saeeda Makhlooqabout a year ago

So glad for really good news. TFS.

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Dog L.
Dog Labout a year ago

These dogs are the sweetest, most beautiful things I have ever seen. Why are people so ignorant and cruel? It is truly evil. I'm only an eleven year old girl, and I already know right from wrong. It's time these people learn too.

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Gisela Gama
Gisela Gamaabout a year ago

Seven long months ... So glad for her and her family !!
Thank you for sharing.
End B.S.L!!!!

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Sandra Vito
Sandra Vitoabout a year ago

que gran noticia!! bravo!!

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federico bortoletto
federico bortolettoabout a year ago

Bella notizia.

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

Yay! "Dangerous dogs" don't exist: only cruel, stupid and ignorant people

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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