If you saw 30 riot police, armed officers, a veterinarian specialising in lions and the RSPCA rushing to an incident, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was all going down at a circus, possibly involving Eastern European terrorists and Bruce Willis in a blood-stained vest.
However, this massive police operation was to tackle two dogs that had bitten a teenager.
The two mastiffs had turned on 19-year-old Daniel Boardman and were in the act of biting him on the arms, legs and posterior when the police arrived.
They battered down the door of the house in Rishton, Blackburn, and tasered each of the dogs before pulling the teenager to safety. They then boarded up the house to prevent the berserk mastiffs from escaping and left a 24 hour guard posted outside while they considered their next move.
What followed was a thirty hour standoff whilst officers struggled to subdue the dogs.
They brought in a vet who had expertise in tranquilising lions, the RSPCA, and posted police marksmen overlooking the back yard of the property before trying to lure the dogs by whistling and throwing them food.
However, the canny canines failed to fall for the trap. Instead, police banged on the upper windows of the house to lure the animals away, before deploying officers in bite resistant dog suits to lock them in a bedroom. A panel was then removed from a door before the vet used a tranquiliser gun to shoot each animal. The dogs were then put to sleep with a lethal injection.
Mark Rowland, 24, of Accrington, who owned the dogs, has been arrested on suspicion of owning a banned breed. He said:
“They are not dangerous dogs, they are bull mastiffs. This has just been an accident.”
He then added that they were registered, and that he had full dog insurance for them.
Mr Rowland visited the hospital where Mr Boardman was due to undergo major surgery for “life-changing injuries”, and said that his friend had tried to break up the dogs whilst they were fighting.