Dog’s life is saved by passionate court defence plea

Shoplifter given final chance
Final chance for dog and owner

A SPEYSIDE FAMILY were accused of having a talent for turning perfectly pleasant young dogs into “out of control nuisances”.

That was the view of one local resident in a letter to Moray Council’s dog warden and read out at Elgin Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov was considering the fate of a six-year-old cross-bred collie who bit a passing cyclist when walking off the leash alongside the A939 Tomintoul to Auchbrek road in July 2014.

The dog’s owner Elizabeth Young had appeared at an earlier hearing when she admitted being in charge of the animal that was described in court as “dangerously out of control”.

A report from the Council dog warden was requested before the Sheriff would pass judgement on the future of the dog. That revealed that the warden had been called to the Young family home on four occasions last year, but also confirmed that the dog involved in this incident, Clyde, had not been involved in any previous incidents.

Defence solicitor Brent Lockie provided a plea for “one absolute last chance” to be given to Clyde, saying: “The offence was 16 months ago now, the court can remove the risk to the public as far as it can be removed by imposing an order that the dog is controlled at all times whilst outside.”

Sheriff Pasportnikov spared Clyde and fined his owner £200, saying: “I have only just been persuaded the public can be sufficiently protected if the dog is muzzled and on a lead at all times he is out of the house, even in the garden.

“If there is any failure to do so the dog shall be destroyed. It is also in the court’s power to stop you from keeping dogs.”