‘No choice’ but to order death of family pet dogs

Scarborough Justice Centre. Picture Richard Ponter 141126b
Scarborough Justice Centre. Picture Richard Ponter 141126b

Two family dogs will be destroyed after a court heard their owner “couldn’t cope” with them around her children.

The pet Staffordshire cross – including one named Lucky – will be put to sleep after a court deemed them dangerous.

Scarborough magistrates heard how officers found the dogs in owner Sarah Shevel’s Filey flat.

Tests later revealed the dogs were a mix between a staffy and a red nosed pitbull – and were illegal.

On Friday, a magistrate’s voice cracked with emotion as she sentenced the dogs to death after being told she had no other option.

“The only order you can make is the destruction of these animals,” said PC Gape, of North Yorkshire Police’s dog section.

He told the court that despite having “ample” opportunity to attend, Ms Shevel, of Queen Street, wouldn’t be at the hearing.

However she was the person who requested both Lucky and Tricksy be destroyed, 
after fearing what they may do to her children.

The court heard Ms Shevel exercised the dogs regularly but that her flat was in a “serious state of neglect”.

PC Gape claimed he had struggled communicating with Ms Shevel, adding: “One minute I will tell her the dogs are the breed they are and she tells me how much she would hate something to happen to her children.

“The next minute she says she wants them back and is going to give them to her sister,”

However, with the pets falling foul of Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act, the chair of the bench said: “As a dog lover, for the first time as a magistrate...I must order the destruction of these dogs.”

She later added: “ You will have to consider carefully calling your dog Lucky.”