Stay of execution for dog that bit policewoman in Plymouth
A DOG facing possible destruction for savaging a policewoman has been given a stay of execution by a court.
Judge Graham Cottle said Dre the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was "lucky not to be put down" after it attacked the officer when she visited its owner's home in Whitleigh.
But he has given a charity another three months to retrain Dre before a final decision is made on its future.
Ali Rafati, for Dre's owner Paula Libbey, told Plymouth Crown Court the dog had been making progress since being taken into the care of the Doris Banham Trust.
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Libbey, aged 35, admitted in February to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control and causing injury.
Plymouth Crown Court heard Dre ran straight at Pc Alison Campbell, savaged her arm and bit her twice in the stomach when she visited Libbey's home in Newcastle Gardens.
The dog had to be shot by a marksman from Dartmoor Wildlife Park using a tranquilliser dart.
Pc Campbell spent three hours in surgery, her arm wound requiring 29 stitches after the incident in August 2010.
Judge Cottle told the latest hearing: "As soon as this dog saw a uniform it became completely out of control and attacked the officer causing a nasty injury. It was lucky not to be put down."
Libbey did not attend and was not required.
Mr Rafati said there was no chance of Dre returning to her home as she was banned from keeping dogs.
But he added the dog could be rehomed with someone else under conditions laid down by the court or could live out its days with the trust.
Mr Rafati said the charity was the only one on the country which worked to retrain dogs which could not be immediately rehomed.
He added it had been in contact both with other dogs and people.
Mr Rafati said: "It seems to be responding very well. It will not be rehomed if the charity feels it cannot be trusted."
He added funds had been raised for the dog's upkeep.
Mr Rafati asked for a final order on the dog be put off a final time for three months to assess its progress.
David Bowen, for the Crown Prosecution Service, did not oppose the application.
Judge Cottle adjourned the case until December 7.