Bristol

Woman wins court case to have a pit bull dog destroyed

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Media captionDonna Croft was attacked by two dogs at a kennel near Bristol

A woman who was attacked by two dogs at a boarding kennels has won her case to have one of the animals destroyed.

Donna Croft was helping out at the kennels near Bristol when she was mauled by a mastiff and American pit bull.

Ms Croft, who was badly injured in the attack, pursued a civil claim against the owner of both dogs after police said they could not seize the animals.

Bristol Magistrates' Court has now ordered the pit bull to be put down.

The two dogs were boarding at Barromar Kennels in Cadbury Heath in August.

Ms Croft was attacked when she went into their cage to change the water.

She was in hospital for several weeks and had a number of skin grafts on the wounds to her legs: "My legs are not very nice...the scarring I have to look at every day."

'Always loved dogs'

Following the attack both dogs went back to live with their owner until the court case.

After the civil case the owner was made to surrender the pit bull, which was taken into secure kennels.

Ms Croft said she had asked the court to make an order for both dogs to be destroyed but said magistrates only agreed to the pit bull because it was on the banned dogs list.

Ms Croft said she was now terrified of dogs.

"I've always loved dogs and now I fear them," she said.

"[With] any dog I go into flight mode whenever I see them.

"It's going to be a long process of therapy to face up to what happened and try to understand it."

Banned dogs and the law

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In the UK, it is against the law to own certain types of dog.

These are the:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Braziliero

Whether a dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name.

However, if a dog is banned but the court thinks it is not a danger to the public, it may put it on the Index of Exempted Dogs as long as the dog is neutered, microchipped, kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public and kept in a secure place so it cannot escape.

Source: gov.uk

Image caption The two dogs were being looked after at Barromar Boarding Kennels near Bristol

The owner of the pit bull has the end of February to appeal against the ruling.

The second dog can remain with the owner under strict controls.

The BBC has approached Barromar Boarding Kennels and the dog owner but neither wanted to comment on the case.

In a statement South Gloucestershire Council said: "We have completed our investigation and the file has been handed to legal who are in the process of determining the next steps."

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