A WIDOW’S two pet dogs have been placed on death row.
A court ordered the destruction of Staffordshire bull terriers Sandy and Gwen, after they escaped from their owner’s Buckley home and bit a dog walker.
But the order was suspended by Flintshire Magistrates, sitting at Mold, pending an appeal by owner Sheila Marjorie Dietrich, 66.
The dogs had been dangerously out of control, said Justin Espie, prosecuting.
He read statements from other neighbours who were worried about the dogs.
Mrs Dietrich, of Briar Drive, Buckley, admitted two charges of owning a dog which was dangerously out of control and was fined £300 with £115 costs.
Destruction orders were also made, but Mrs Dietrich immediately said she would appeal.
The court heard how a previous incident occurred in November of last year when the dogs escaped from her garden and attacked another woman walking her dog.
At that stage it was dealt with by police with a community resolution – on condition she put up secure fencing.
But Mr Espie said that was clearly insufficient because the dogs had escaped again in December.
On December 11, Tracey Jones was walking her dog when the two dogs came running at her, barking aggressively.
She picked up her own dog to protect it but they repeatedly jumped up at her and she was bitten on the finger.
Mr Espie said she was left with a deep cut to one of her fingers.
The victim had been left shocked and upset and now only felt safe if someone else walked with her.
Mr Espie said the dogs should be destroyed unless the defence could show they were no longer a risk to the public.
He read other statements from local people who were concerned at the way the dogs behaved and who claimed they had previously bitten a cyclist.
Brian Cross, defending, stressed there was one incident only before the court and said his client was unaware of some of the other matters raised.
Following an incident in November a fence had been put up. She had followed police advice.
Sandy and Gwen had escaped again and now the area had been fully secured, he said.
“She has increased the fencing and to ensure there are no further problems, the dogs cannot get out of the premises,” he said.
In terms of injuries, the original papers showed the woman had a scratch to her finger.
His client was a woman of previous good character who loved her dogs and who had kept dogs all of her life.
He suggested a control order, under which the dogs would have to be muzzled and kept on a lead or harness at all times when out in public.
That would prevent any future problems, he said.
It was sad his client should find herself in court for the first time at her age, he added.
She had been through a very difficult time and had cared for her late husband for 14 years, and had also lost her sister and her brother.
Mr Cross told magistrates: “She loves her dogs. She has been through an extremely difficult period and this has put added pressure on her.”
Both dogs had been neutered, he explained.
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