Claudia Settimo-Bovio (pictured today) appearing at Kingston police station today
A 73-year-old woman who had her Yorkshire Terrier seized by seven officers after he allegedly ran towards a courier may not get him back for ‘three weeks’.
Claudia Settimo-Bovio said police arrived in five cars on Friday to collect Alfie, who is only six inches tall and weighs a stone, and took him away under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
She was quizzed by police today during an hour-long interview but was not told where her dog is being kept.
She added that she had been ‘overwhelmed’ by messages of support from well-wishers, telling MailOnline ‘I feel very emotional…I just want Alfie back.’
A spokesman for The Metropolitan Police said the ten-year-old dog is currently being held in kennels but would not disclose where.
They added: ‘The dog’s behaviour and temperament will be assessed by an expert from the Met’s Status Dog Unit which will inform what further action may be necessary.’
Police told the 73-year-old she won’t be reunited with Alfie until they have questioned two more witnesses.
She said: ‘They are just collecting the evidence and until they get more evidence they won’t release the dog.
‘We gave our version of events. Now they will get two more witness statements from the people who witnessed the event on the day and after that they will make their decision on whether we need to go to court.’
She added: ‘They didn’t say where Alfie is being kept. They said people are looking after him and I would like to know if he is being assessed.
‘If people treat him well he’s an angel. But if they treat him badly that’s what I’m worried about.
‘I have got to wait – the dog could come back but I don’t know. They said not until they have got witness statements, they are waiting for all that. It could take another two to three weeks.
‘I don’t know how they will proceed. I knew this morning I would not have my dog.’
Her son, who accompanied her to Kingston police station, said: ‘It’s looking very much like from the wounds this guy has were not made by a dog.
‘They are not injuries consistent with a dog bite…they were injuries he sustained years ago.’
Miss Settimo-Bovio claims the police took Alfie because of an incident at the end of June
Miss Settimo-Bovio, from Kingston in south-west London, claims her pet did not even scratch the courier, saying the man instead fell over as the dog approached him.
She said: ‘I was treated like a criminal and I’m not.
‘My dog is not vicious. He’s not a Rottweiler, he’s a little Yorkshire terrier. I live on my own and he’s very protective of me.
‘He just likes to chase. Show me a dog who doesn’t like to chase.’
The Met had been informed the dog was ‘possibly a Border Collie or similar size’ but when police arrived they discovered Alfie was in fact a Yorkshire Terrier.
Alfie was then walked to a waiting police van on a lead.
Miss Settimo-Bovio told MailOnline: ‘Alfie is excitable when he sees people but he’s then a pussycat.
‘It’s terrible because he’s 10 years old and not a young dog. We’ve never been apart…he probably thinks I’ve abandoned him as he’s never been in a kennel. I haven’t been able to see him. He didn’t deserve this.’
Taken away: Alfie was seized by police after he allegedly chased a delivery man in Kingston
She said Alfie never attacked the delivery man but claimed he fell over.
The grandmother said: ‘As soon as he saw my dog he was screaming like a lunatic, screaming, ‘He’s killing me’. People came running out because they thought someone was being attacked.’
The driver was left with only a graze on his waist, she claimed, but insisted on being taken to hospital.
She said: ‘It only happened because he (the courier) started running away and fell over in the garden next door. He fell over and I told him if he was afraid to just stay still.
‘My neighbour came out and picked up the dog. It looked like the man had a little scratch above the waist, but I think that was from when he fell. My neighbour had to take him to the hospital because he was making such a fuss, but it was just a scratch and it could not have been a bite as his T-shirt was not damaged and it was not bleeding.’
She added: ‘My neighbour had to take him to Kingston hospital because he was making such a fuss. He said to him ‘don’t be such a p***y”’.
The grandmother (pictured) said Alfie never attacked the delivery man but claimed he fell over
The 73-year-old was quizzed at Kingston Police Station today about the incident in June
Although the incident happened on June 21, police did not visit her property until last Friday.
She said: ‘I had totally forgotten about it so when the police came, it was out the blue.’
She had told the courier to leave her package outside the door because Alfie can become excited when people arrive at her home. Around ten minutes later, when she went to collect her order, the dog ran towards the courier.
Miss Settimo-Bovio told MailOnline: ‘All the police there made me nervous and the dog nervous. I am 73 and have never had any involvement with the police apart from 25 years ago when I was assaulted in my own home. I feel safer with Alfie around.
‘He tells me if there is someone at the door or if someone comes near – he is very clever.’
She added: ‘I never had a letter from the police. Alfie will probably be very scared now. He’s never been in a kennel before.
Miss Settimo’s home (left white door) in Kingston, south west London, where police swooped
‘I’m in shock. I suffer from anxiety and stress, and this has made it so much worse. It was really over the top to send so many people for such a small dog.’
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police in Kingston have seized a dog under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
‘The seizure follows an incident on Wednesday, 21 June at an address in Vale Crescent, London.
‘A delivery courier reported that a dog, possibly a Border Collie or similar size, had chased him and then leapt up and bit him on his stomach. He stated that he then fell over and was bitten behind the ear.
‘The victim, who is in his mid 30s, went to a west London hospital and was treated for minor injuries. He reported the matter to police on June 26.
‘As a result of the information at 08:08hrs on Friday, 18 August officers from Kingston attended an address in Vale Crescent to carry out a search warrant under section 5 of the Dangerous Dog’s Act 1991.
‘Two dog units and three local officers attended the scene. The dog was found to be a Yorkshire Terrier. One dog unit remained to give advice and the other left. The dog was walked to a waiting police van on a lead.
‘A police van was used to transport the dog. Inquiries continue.’