Hindson had started to train Zara at a doggy agility center - an activity Zara adored. A new staff member at the center approached Hindson, and said she thought Zara might be part pit bull terrier, which is a banned breed in the U.K., as well as in some parts of the U.S. that have passed breed-specific legislation (BSL).
If you own a banned breed in the U.K., the police or local dog warden can take your dog away on the spot, even if your animal isn't acting dangerously. If the matter goes to court, you have to prove your dog isn't a banned breed, or get a large fine or be sent to prison for six months. The dog could be destroyed. Other banned breeds in the U.K. include the Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Braziliero, all blocky-headed types.
Hindson was distressed. What if Zara was taken away from her? What if she was put to sleep? She also worried Zara would go into a police kennel if she was seized. "She'd spent such a long time at the shelter previously," Hindson says.