A Dundee dog whose owner died has been given a “stay of execution” after a last minute bid to find him a new home.
Rocco, who was to be destroyed on Thursday (January 21), was saved after lawyers managed to secure a delay.
It’s understood the pet was taken by police after being involved in an incident in which another dog died in January 2020.
He has remained at a kennels facility in the city ever since and while in there, his owner died.
Campaign group Save Our Seized Dogs has been fighting to save him for the past year.
Jayne Dendle, who founded the UK-wide group, thanked the public for their support but warned he could still be killed.
She said: “It’s a case that really pulls on your heartstrings.
“It’s sad his owner is no longer with us. It means he is a dog in limbo.
“It’s essentially a stay of execution. Our lawyers have secured an interim interdict which means he was not put to sleep on Thursday.
“This does not mean he is safe; it just gives us time to continue to fight for him.”
Under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, the pit bull terrier is one of four breeds banned.
The law sees hundreds of pitbull-type dogs confiscated by authorities ever year across the UK.
It also means breeds cannot be transferred to new owners even if they are deemed to pose no threat.
Owners can however get a certificate of exemption if a court believes the dog is not dangerous.
‘He is not a bad dog’
Ms Dendle says the group does not believe Rocco is a pit bull type.
She added: “We disagree with the police over whether he is a pit bull.
“The police also say the owner’s next of kin have given permission for the dog to be destroyed.
“But every member of her family we have spoken to say they have not.
“Everyone who has met him says he is lovely and has a great nature.
“He is not a bad dog.”
Police Scotland are seeking the destruction of the dog while Dundee City Council’s dog warden is not involved in the situation.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on the matter as we have been advised that legal proceedings are to be raised.”
A spokesperson for animal welfare charity the Scottish SPCA said: “We can confirm we assisted Police Scotland in relation to a dog seized under section 1 of the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.
“As this is an on-going case we are unable to comment further at this time”.