A “happy, friendly” family dog will be put down after his owner failed in a desperate legal battle to save him.
Mum-of-two Emily Grant’s dog Blitz was condemned to die after he escaped from her garden in Southey Hall Road, Sheffield, and was rounded up by dog wardens.
Investigators said the three-year-old was a “pitbull type” – but a canine expert described him as a “happy, friendly and excitable young dog” who loves humans.
In a bid to save her beloved pet’s life, Miss Grant challenged the order at the High Court in London.
Her lawyers said Blitz posed no danger to anyone and his owner was more than capable of looking after him in the family home.
Pamela Rose, defending, claimed Miss Grant had been discriminated against as a single mother after a judge doubted her ability to cope with Blitz and two small children at the same time.
Blitz was “generally a nice dog”, she said. “He’s not aggressive and he’s only about the size of a Labrador. Lots of single parents have dogs and that doesn’t make them dangerous. In reality, we are dealing with a family pet that is a nice dog.
“The law was amended to avoid nice dogs like this, who have a nice home to go to, being destroyed.”
While accepting that Blitz has the forbidden pitbull breed in his DNA, she said: “That does not mean his nature is dangerous”.
“Police had no adverse comments to make about this dog and nobody could say that Blitz was dangerous.”
Miss Grant was of impeccable character and “there is nothing about her to indicate that she is not a fit and proper person to be in charge of this dog,” she added.
“She would have no more trouble controlling this dog than anyone else”.
But, rejecting the mum’s challenge, Judge Jonathan Swift QC, said: “She has significant other responsibilities. Two young children are quite a responsibility.”
The court heard Blitz was picked up after he escaped from the back garden in February 2015.
He was found to be a pitbull-type dog, a breed banned in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Following a court hearing, Blitz’s destruction was ordered – a decision upheld on appeal at Sheffield Crown Court last January.
Judge Robert Moore QC, sitting with two magistrates, said Blitz was a “pleasant, not aggressive, and nice dog” and Miss Grant a “nice person”.
However, he said he had to bear in mind the fact the dog was of an illegal breed and had been impounded for almost a year.
If returned, he would be under the control of Miss Grant, who also had two very young children to look after.
The court concluded that, due to her child-care duties, Miss Grant was not a “fit and proper person” to be in control of a banned dog.
Miss Rose said the family home was suitable for Blitz and Miss Grant had taken steps to ensure her garden was fully secured.
The court could have made a “contingent destruction order”, which would have allowed Blitz to return home under strict conditions, she added.
But, rejecting the appeal, Judge Swift said such an order was not an “alternative option” and could only be made if the court was satisfied Blitz was not a danger.
The court had not discriminated against Miss Grant as a single mother and her childcare duties were relevant to her ability to control Blitz, he told the court.
Miss Rose indicated she intends to launch a further appeal against the judge’s decision and Blitz’s destruction will be delayed pending any outcome.
WHAT YOU’RE SAYING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Alison Clegg said: “Totally disgusting, the dog hasn’t even attacked anyone but still being put down. That poor woman and children will be heartbroken, should be ashamed of yourselves killing an innocent animal”
Kirsty Barber added: “A family pet has to be destroyed because of how it looks. Stupid horrible law. Hope she gets her dog back.”
Sam Dexter said: “So basically someone that doesn’t have children could adopt this dog and that would significantly help this dog keep his life, can we try to launch as appeal of some sort to help this mum rehome him?!”
Gabrielle Ball added: “Who is the judge to decide if she can look after the kids and dog!! Makes my blood boil, there’s plenty of humans that want putting down for good reason but we put animals to sleep for no good reason! This is awful.”
Beverley Self said: “Destroying a beautiful family dog, who’s loving and affectionate because of his DNA!
Amber Ludlam added: “That’s disgusting! That poor family. My dog’s my baby, I feel for them all. Pitbull-type dogs are perfect family dogs, the judge doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about!”
Terrie Whitehead said: “Absolutely disgusting saying she wouldn’t be able to look after the dog and two small children responsibly!!! So a perfectly healthy non-dangerous dogs is gonna be executed for no good reason at all!!! Absolutely appalling.
Kasey Jessica Crossland added: “What an absolute joke! Because he’s a pit bull type dog he has to be put down... although proven friendly and has never bitten anyone or shown aggression yet repeatedly I see people with out-of-control dogs of all breeds while out walking my dog and nothing is done. This is beyond ridiculous!”
Ruhi Tolley said: “This is disgusting going on the looks of a dog rather than the temperament, the canine dog expert even confirmed that Blitz is a happy, excitable and friendly dog. Has never done anything wrong!”
Jean McGhee added: “A family pet taken because of a judgement. He has been shown to be a lovely natured happy dog. Why is this happening. What gives this judge the right to destroy an innocent dog, it’s a disgrace!!’
Michelle Reader said: “Murderers! Judging millions of innocent dogs just like Blitz on the way they look! One day they will look back and see how wrong they were.”
Eddie Ronald Paisnel added: “Justice for Blitz!
Donna Morton said: “Discriminating against her being a single parent. Those poor kids who have lost their fur baby and probably their best friend.
Pat Ainley added; “Poor Blitz, I have followed Blitz from day one and I am so angry and upset of the judges ruling.”