I can spend hours being critical of the Italian society but when it comes to pet welfare I can only “tip my hat” to my native country. No society is perfect but it’s a pleasure to see people put an effort into solving a problem and succeeding.
This is a story of a female Dogo Argentino named Iceberg. She was saved from the execution in Denmark thanks to the effort of ENPA (the Italian Animal Protection Society), the Italian Ambassador in Denmark and the help of the MP and businesswoman Michela Vittoria Brambilla. She made a revolutionary positive change in the animal welfare policy in Italy possible.
The story started at the end of May 2017 when Giuseppe Perna moved to Denmark to work as a chef in Copenhagen. He and his partner decided to take his Dogo Argentino Iceberg with them.
At his arrival, Mr Perna could go through border control without any problem. He entered Denmark with Iceberg, despite her passport specified the breed as Dogo Argentino.
One day, during a walk in the park, Iceberg ended up in a confrontation with another dog. That resulted in a mild injury to the hand of a passer-by who decided to get involved in trying to separate the two dogs. The accident initially ended with a friendly and civilized apology. But a few days after, due to an anonymous report to the police, Iceberg got confiscated from Mr Perna. She looked like a dog type illegal in Denmark and, because of that, authorities put her into a local kennel to be “put to sleep” later.
Mr Perna, out of desperation, appealed to different Danish and Italian institutions making a plea for his dog to be spared and returned to Italy.
The story was shared on social media attracting the attention from the animalist movement and the MP Brambilla. Together with the Italian Ambassador in Denmark, they started to work on saving Iceberg and getting her back home.
In Italy no dog breed is illegal.
The negotiation with the Danish government lasted for months but ended up successfully. Iceberg got spared and deported back to Italy to her owner in November 2017.
This wasn’t the only positive outcome. Thanks to Iceberg’s story and all the people that got involved to save her, the Danish government decided to change its laws.
From now on, any foreign dog prohibited in Denmark will no longer be destroyed but instead returned to its country of origin.
Let’s hope that in the future even Danish society will focus more on the individual dog owner’s conduct rather than the dog’s breed.
Yet, this story proves the importance of checking laws of the country you are going to when travelling with your dog. Make sure there is no ban on your dog. This useful information can save your dog’s life.
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Also, if you like the topic of dogs, please check my book ‘Before You Get a Dog’ by Simone Burani. You will find the essential knowledge written in simple language to have a great time with your pet.