More than 750 people back campaign to save popular Finsbury Park hound caged by police
PUBLISHED: 13:09 16 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:09 16 February 2015
Support from as far afield as California as officers keep Harry locked up for months
More than 750 people have backed a campaign to bring a much-loved hound back to his distraught owner.
Harry, a “friendly” dog insured as a Staffie, was seized by police in December on the suspicion he was a dangerous breed and has been held at Islington Police Station ever since.
His owner Kyriacos “Nelson” Kyriacou, 59, of Charteris Road, Finsbury Park, was arrested and had to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court last month in a battle to bring his beloved pooch home.
Magistrates refused Mr Kyriacou’s request for a jury trial and he now has to wait until May for his pooch’s fate to be decided - with Harry caged the whole time.
He said: “For a nation of dog lovers these laws are disgusting
“They should be more carefully thought out - you can’t just take people’s pets away.
“In this country you are innocent until proven guilty - but Harry has been found guilty and locked up without any kind of trial.
“This has affected me mentally and physically, as well as my other two dogs Boom Boom and Duchess.
“I live with my dogs, I am nearly 60 years old, I don’t go out and I don’t drink.
“They are my friends and my companions and you can’t just take them away.”
Mr Kyriacou’s friend Sacha Austin, who helped launched the petition, also arranged a photo shoot in Finsbury Park on Saturday, to raise awareness of Harry’s plight.
She said; “It was really good - a lot of people came out to show their support.
“What has happened to Nelson is very extreme, I keep imagining if someone was to take my dog away from me like that - the whole family would be heartbroken,
“And all this stress is affecting Nelson’s health. He is really not very well.
“And we’re really worried about Harry’s state of mind - how often is he being fed, or exercised?”
Support for Harry, who chipped, neutered, insured and registered, has come from as far afield as Italy and California through the petition and a Facebook page.
A spokesman for Islington police said Mr Kyriacou was charged on January 19 for possessing or having custody of a fighting dog after an officer saw what he believed to be a type of dog banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Harry’s future is set to be decided when Mr Kyriacou’s next appears at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on May 8.
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