A 19-YEAR-old woman has been told her pit-bull will not be put down if she complies with strict ownership rules.
Jade Leigh Wright, of the YMCA, Westover Road, Bournemouth, appeared at Bournemouth Magistrates' Court jointly charged with her former boyfriend Jason Egan, 32, who appeared on videolink from HMP High Down, where he is currently serving a sentence for another offence.
The court heard that police officers discovered the illegal dog when they searched the couple’s address for a misuse of drugs warrant in July, 2013.
The dog, called Hitch, was seized and sent to PC Mark Spearing’s specialist dog unit where he assessed whether the dog was an illegal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
As an expert in dog legislation and a dog handler PC Spearing found that Hitch was a prohibited pit-bull terrier dog.
The court heard how the officer did not deem the dog to be a ‘danger to the public’ and that under tests carried out the dog showed it had good temperament and did not display any signs of aggression or violence.
After hearing this evidence, magistrates judged that Jade Leigh Wright could keep her dog Hitch - if she obeyed to all conditions of a Contingent Destruction Order.
She was told that she must obey various conditions such as her dog must be muzzled, neutered, sprayed, micro-chipped and able to be kept securely when in public.
If Wright does not complete all of the stipulations in 60 days the dog was be put down.
In defence, Brendan Allen said that Wright had no idea that the dog was a prohibited dog and told the court that she and Egan has purchased the dog for £60 from a homeless man and believed it was a Staffy-cross mastiff.
Egon’s solicitor told the court that his defendent was relinquishing ownership of the dog.
The costs to Wright for carrying out the order were said to be £886 and she was not asked to pay any further costs.
Wright was given an absolute discharge for the offence.
Dorset's dangerous dogs
SIXTY dogs assessed were found to be a banned type of dog in Dorset last year.
PC Spearing and his colleague assessed the dogs and confirmed they were not illegal under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Around another 60 dogs were classed as being dangerous.
PC Spearing said: “Any type of dog could potentially be a dangerous dog, it is not just certain breeds.
“Dog owners need to be responsible at all times if they are in charge of a dog.”