back to top

This Dog Presented A Petition To The Government To Ban Animal Abusers From Owning Pets

The call for an animal cruelty register to be enforced in the UK has gained 500,000 supporters.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Here's Chunky the Chihuahua. In February 2015, four teenagers stole him from his home in Margate.

RSPCA

They set him on fire, fed him drugs, broke his neck, and ultimately left him for dead. He is very lucky to be alive.

After admitting the offence, Chunky's four abusers were issued a five-year ban from owning animals.

Chunky's owner, Bonnie-Lee Fittall, told BuzzFeed News she was "devastated" and "heartbroken" when she found out what he had been through. She said: "We didn't want it to be true when we first heard."

She added: "It's hard to think about it, it really angers us to know someone can... inflict pain on such [an] innocent animal."

After reading about Chunky's ordeal, Maxine Berry, from Leeds, was shocked. She felt the punishment had not been harsh enough, and created a petition on Change.org.

The petition asks that: "Anyone who abuses animals, regardless of their age, be placed on an Animal Cruelty Register which would follow them for life. In some states in the US they already have animal abuse registries."

Advertisement

Berry's "Justice For Chunky" campaign now has more than half a million supporters.

w.soundcloud.com

On Wednesday, a healthy Chunky, his owners, Berry, and her husband handed the petition box containing all the signatures to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) in a bid to prompt a change in law.

vine.co
Chunky and his joint owners Lisa-Marie Fittall (left) and Bonnie-Lee Fittall (right) wait outside the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs in central London.
Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

Chunky and his joint owners Lisa-Marie Fittall (left) and Bonnie-Lee Fittall (right) wait outside the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs in central London.

Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
Advertisement

Fitall said she was “amazed” when she saw the “Justice For Chunky” campaign and got in contact with Berry.

w.soundcloud.com

The pair have vowed to remain in contact.

Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

After handing in the petition, Berry described the event as “emotional”.

vine.co

“I hope we can do something for animals in the future,” she said.

vine.co
Advertisement
Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed
Matthew Tucker / BuzzFeed

A Defra spokesperson said: "We are a nation of animal lovers with the highest welfare standards in the world and anyone who owns or keeps animals is responsible for their welfare.

"Under the Animal Welfare Act anyone who is cruel to an animal, or does not provide for its welfare needs, may be banned from owning them in future, given an unlimited fine and face a prison sentence. Cruelty to pets is completely abhorrent and it is right we have tough penalties in place for the perpetrators of these offences."

Victoria Sanusi is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Victoria Sanusi at victoria.sanusi@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.