New fear for life of rescued ‘pitbull’

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

A banned dog which was the subject of an animal cruelty prosecution may yet not be saved from lethal injection by her original owner after all.

Robert Prescott from Leigh was devastated to discover this week that the Department for the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) plans to challenge a magistrates’ court ruling that the RSPCA can hand over a pitbull-type dog that it rescued to him for safe keeping.

The 39-year-old from Linden Grove was the first owner of the dog and had gifted it to former girlfriend Rachel McKenzie four years ago but then she had gone on to be starved and neglected by her.

The police had recommended that Missy, who has never attacked anyone or any other pet, be put down under the terms of the Dangerous Dogs Act. But Mr Prescott persuaded Wigan justices that he could care for the animal while abiding by strict conditions such as muzzling her in public and keeping her away from children.

He also argued at the folly and irony of going to trouble of saving the pet from neglect, prosecuting someone for it and then having her killed.

But Defra appears to be testing a news precedent with this case.

Mr Prescott said: “After the successful court case I had been sitting there waiting for the paperwork from Defra confirming the transfer of ownership to arrive and it didn’t come. Inquiries to Defra were met with increasingly evasive answers and now it emerges that they are challenging the transfer.

“Missy has been with the RSPCA since the summer now and goodness knows when or even if I will ever get her. This will go to judicial review now. I’m very angry.”