A student’s legal fight to rescue her dog from death row has failed.
Appeal judges have ruled that terrier cross-breed Ollie must be destroyed after he attacked his neighbour and left her lying in a pool of blood.
Perth Sheriff Court heard that the dog jumped over a 7ft fence and attacked Margaret McLeod in her own garden.
Ollie’s owner, health studies student Pauline Reid, was found guilty of allowing her pet to be dangerously out of control at an address in Douglas Court, Perth, on June 16 last year.
Reid was banned from keeping dogs for three years and was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. A destruction order was also issued for her Staffordshire/Labrador cross.
In an effort to overturn the sentence, the 32-year-old took her case to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Edinburgh.
Agents for Reid argued that there was not enough corroborative evidence to suggest that the dog was a danger and that Sheriff Fiona Tait, who oversaw the trial, should have accepted a no-case-to-answer submission.
But after hearing an assessment of Ollie by animal behaviour experts, judges have refused to drop the destruction order.
However, they have quashed the disqualification part of Reid’s sentence, meaning that she can now keep animals.
During the sheriff court trial, Mrs McLeod said she was “petrified, terrified and shocked” when Ollie locked his teeth into her hip and arm and tried to drag her to the ground.
The retired property developer broke down in the witness box as she described the attack, which was said to have lasted between two and four minutes.
She said she flung her handbag at Ollie, but he tore it away. Ollie then let go of the bag and latched on to Mrs McLeod’s left arm.
“My heart’s beating just thinking about it,” she told the court. “It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened.
“If it had been a child, they wouldn’t have stood a chance because he was so strong. It took all my strength to keep from hitting the ground.
“It seemed like a long time because there was nobody there to pull him off.”
Reid, whose address was listed on court papers as Balmanno in Perthshire, had denied the allegations and said that her neighbour had exaggerated the length and severity of the attack. She has declined to comment on the case.
Passing sentence, Sheriff Tait told Reid: “In assessing the evidence I found Ms McLeod to be an impressive witness.
“She had been fearful of the dog on previous occasions when it was in the garden.”
She added: “While in your care, the dog escaped and carried out an attack of some length.”