Mistreated dog Missy saved from being put down

Rescued "pitbull-type dog" Missy
Rescued "pitbull-type dog" Missy

A banned dog which was the subject of an animal cruelty prosecution has been saved from lethal injection by her original owner.

Robert Prescott was dismayed to learn that the pup he had given to his then girlfriend Rachel McKenzie four years ago had gone on to be starved and neglected by her.

We are grateful to the co-operation that has been given to us by the RSPCA and Greater Manchester Police which has led to a sensible and humane outcome being achieved in this case

Kate Welch

The RSPCA had nursed the emaciated pet, Missy, back to good health after rescuing her while McKenzie, of Deyne Avenue, Rusholme, in Manchester, was prosecuted.

Because Missy fell into the category of being a “pitbull-type dog” a police vet recommended that she be put down under the auspices of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

But 39-year-old Mr Prescott, of Linden Grove, Leigh, this week challenged the order at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’s Court and persuaded justices that he could offer Missy a safe home and protect the public from her.

They made a contingent destruction order which will lead to Missy being granted an exemption certificate by DEFRA.

Mr Prescott, who is currently unemployed and lives alone, will have to stick to strict conditions which include keeping Missy muzzled, insured, tattooed and ensure that children are never left in charge of her. Failure to comply or an incident in which the dog attacks would lead to her being put down.

He said the case highlighted the fact that not all dogs that come under the definition of banned need be destroyed.

McKenzie was spared jail after she admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act by causing unnecessary suffering to Missy and failing to provide a proper environment for her.

Mr Prescott said: “I own Missy’s mother Phoebe who is definitely not a pitbull. She had a litter four years ago and it turns out that Missy, because of the shape of her head is deemed a banned pitbull. It’s nonsense because she has never harmed any person or any other animal. I am just so glad the court has given me the chance to give her a loving home. It’s a great result.”

Mr Prescott’s case was championed by law firm Parry Welch Lacey in Liverpool who say that it demonstrates that the Dangerous Dogs Act has flaws in it which can lead to needless pet deaths.

Kate Welch said “We are grateful to the co-operation that has been given to us by the RSPCA and Greater Manchester Police which has led to a sensible and humane outcome being achieved in this case.

“We are delighted that this terrible time in Missy’s life has now come to an end and she can look forward to a happy life from now on”.

James Parry said “This case highlights the imperfections of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 which has led to the needless deaths of thousands of dogs over the last 25 years without improving public protection.

“Had the RSPCA and the police not co-operated with in this case a victim of crime could have been needlessly put to death.”