TWO men have appeared in court charged with possessing illegal dogs after a sting operation earlier this year.
John Powney, 38, and Lee Hanson, 27, appeared before Dewsbury Magistrates yesterday.
Powney, of Upper Barker Street, Mill Bridge, Liversedge, is charged with trying to sell a dangerous dog, thought to be a banned pit bull terrier known as Arnie, to an undercover reporter on January 4 this year.
He is also charged with allowing the dog to be in a public place without a muzzle or a lead on the same day, and with possessing a second dog, also thought to be a pit bull terrier called Bruiser, on January 6.
Hanson, of Brighton Street, Heckmondwike, is charged with possessing or having in his custody three dangerous dogs, all thought to be pit bull terriers, on January 6 this year. One was a female called Bonnie, another was male and the final banned breed was thought to be a puppy.
Powney and Hanson pair were arrested after West Yorkshire Police and the RSPCA received information from a national Sunday newspaper, and search warrants were issued under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The tabloid named the two men after Powney allegedly tried to sell Arnie to one of its reporters in a Huddersfield car park, and another was shown photographs by Hanson of dogs caged in a bathroom.
All four dogs were seized during raids on addresses in Liversedge and Heckmondwike, and are now in the custody of the police while their exact breeds are confirmed by DNA tests.
The defendants only spoke to confirm their names, ages and addresses before being allowed bail to appear again on June 18 this year.