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Dog owner fined following attack

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A woman has been ordered to pay nearly £600 in court fines, costs and compensation after her Alaskan malamute attacked another dog in a street in Syston.

Following a prosecution by Charnwood Borough Council, Stacie Beeby, 38, of Hallaton Drive, Syston, pleaded guilty to owning a dog which was dangerously out of control at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.

A contingent destruction order was also issued for the dog which means it could be put down if there are further issues.

Beeby was served with a Criminal Behaviour Order in April 2016 after the malamute, called Nikita, had escaped and attacked other dogs. The order, which lasts for 10 years, set a number of conditions including that Nikita had to be muzzled, on a lead or harness and supervised by a responsible adult at all times when in public places.

The court was told that on February 28 this year a woman was walking her miniature schnauzer along Hallaton Drive when she was approached by a large Alaskan malamute type dog.

The malamute was not on a lead, wearing a muzzle or harness and was not with an owner or handler.

The dog pounced on the miniature schnauzer, bit the scruff of his neck and shook him. The woman held the schnauzer above her head, but the malamute jumped up and was leaning on the woman with its front legs as it snapped at the smaller dog.

The attack stopped when Beeby ran towards them and shouted Nikita back.

The miniature schnauzer was left with puncture wounds to his neck, a cut on his back leg and bruising.

The court was told that since being served with the Criminal Behaviour Order in 2016, Beeby had put further measures in place to prevent the dog escaping from her property. 

In relation to this offence, Beeby said her neighbour had been visiting and failed to ensure the front door was closed and locked behind her. She said the front door was also faulty and this was being addressed by her landlord.

As soon as Beeby realised Nikita was out, she went to find her and managed to regain control quickly.

Magistrates accepted that there were some circumstances around how the escape had occurred, but that as the owner Beeby had a responsibility to be vigilant. 

Beeby was fined £180 and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge, costs of £333 and £51 compensation to the owner of the schnauzer for the vet bill.

Magistrates also made a contingent destruction order with the condition that Nikita was not to be outside of Beeby’s home without being muzzled, on a lead, on a harness and in the control of a responsible adult at all times.  Failure to comply with the order would result in the dog being destroyed.

After the hearing, Cllr Margaret Smidowicz, Charnwood Borough Council’s lead member for regulatory services, enforcement and licensing, said: “We do not take prosecutions lightly but people have a duty to make sure their pet is not a nuisance or a danger to other animals or people.

“We hope this case acts as a reminder that there can be consequences for failing to be a responsible dog owner.

“In this particular case, a contingent destruction order has been granted by the court. Clearly we do not want to see a healthy animal destroyed but this is ultimately what could happen if there are further issues as the public safety of others is absolutely paramount.”

If anyone has concerns about dogs in their community, then issues can be reported to Charnwood Borough Council online at www.charnwood.gov.uk/dogcontrol or by calling 01509 634636.