A grandmother’s pampered pet pug was put on “doggy death row” – despite only nibbling a walker’s leg.
Magistrates told Laurin Mainprize that her family’s beloved dog Furby could be destroyed after it bit a walker on the Saturday stroll.
The victim, who was named in court, said she would support the dog being destroyed – despite causing “minimal injuries at worst”.
But it was handed a stay of execution, after Scarborough magistrates heard how the tiny five-year-old cross breed was a loving pet dog whose bark was usually worse than its bite.
Outside Thursday’s hearing, 53-year-old dog lover Ms Mainprize said: “It is carried everywhere and it’s as soft as you can get.”
But Ms Mainprize, of The Bolts, Sandside, has now been left with a criminal record, despite not even holding the dog at the time; it was under the control of a relative while the former landlady tried to bundle her rottweiler inside her home.
The court heard how the family member was “chastised” by the victim after the part-shih tzu bit, before pictures were taken of the injuries.
Pictures seen by The Scarborough News show a small mark at the back of a leg.
But the mark threatened the dog’s life, with magistrates forced to decide whether to put a control order on the pooch or put it down.
The control order, recommended by police, could have seen the dog muzzled or the family’s children banned from walking it.
But in mitigation, solicitor Nick Tubbs pleaded for magistrates to show leniency towards both the dog and Ms Mainprize.
“It’s a dog that’s never ever been a problem,” said Mr Tubbs.
“She has always been a responsible dog owner and she wants nothing more than to put this matter behind her.
“She would be mortified if that destruction order was made.”
The court heard the destruction order would be made if the dog was deemed to pose a risk to public safety.
However, after assessing several factors, including the extent of the injuries, it was deemed the dog wouldn’t need to be destroyed – yet.
If it does breach the order then the police can order Furby, who won’t be muzzled, to be destroyed without the court’s permission
Ordering Ms Mainprize to pay costs and fines totalling £598, the bench told her: “If there are any more incidents then there’s a very strong chance the dog will be destroyed.”