Europe

#SaveIceberg: Italy celebrates reprieve for dog

Giuseppe Perna and his dog, Iceberg Image copyright Rinaldo Sidoli
Image caption Italians mobilised on a mass scale to save Iceberg the dog from being put down in Denmark

An Italian campaigner has told the BBC he is "very happy" after launching a petition which helped save a dog's life.

More than 375,000 people signed the petition to bring home Iceberg - an Argentine mastiff - from Denmark, where she faced being put down.

Iceberg's owner, Giuseppe Perna, had not realised the breed was considered dangerous under Danish law.

Danish authorities bowed to pressure and now say they will amend the law.

Arrangements are now being made to return Iceberg home to Italy, campaigner Rinaldo Sidoli told the BBC.

He said he had the guarantee of Denmark's environment ministry that the dog was safe.

"I am very happy because we put the pressure on. I thank the Danish ambassador to Italy, who met me on 26 June and listened to the proposals from myself and more than 375,000 signatories.

"Giuseppe must be able to embrace his friend again."

You may also like:

Mr Perna took Iceberg with him when he accepted a job as a chef in Denmark, gaining the correct documentation to take the dog through the border.

But when Iceberg had a fight with another dog and was seized by police, her status as an illegal dangerous dog came to light and authorities said she would have to be put down.

As well as Mr Sidoli's petition, Italian animal rights' organisation Enpa led a drive to save the dog, urging supporters to lobby the Danish embassy. Italian pop singer Noemi joined a protest outside the Danish embassy in Rome.

Italy's foreign minister also added his voice to those demanding Iceberg's return.

Mr Perna told the BBC he was waiting to collect the dog and they would both now move back to Italy.

Not only has Iceberg been saved, but the campaign seems to have prompted a change in the law.

Danish Environment Minister Esben Lunde Larsen says he will propose legislation allowing dog owners who brought their animals to Denmark in good faith to be given the option of returning them to their home countries, rather than being put down.

The amendment will go to parliament after the seasonal recess.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption "Iceberg is safe. He'll be back at home, here in Italy. We won everything, heartfelt thanks for having supported this campaign #saveIceberg"

Related Topics