Ruby the dog and her plight was discussed for an hour at last night's The Hills Council meeting, with the general manager confirming via a Mayoral Minute that the restricted breed declaration would be formally revoked.
That means Ku-ring-gai Council won't have to put her down, and Ruby can go home to her family, which she's since done.
More to come.
Since Sunday, more than 6200 people have signed an online petition to save Ruby the pitbull cross.
A piece of local government legislation could see the family pet put down by Ku-ring-gai Council, but not without a strong fight by community members and the dog's owners.
‘‘She hasn’t had any chance to get off this death sentence at all; it’s really breaking our hearts,’’ Ruby’s owner Michelle Keir said.
She plans to plead with councillors to save their pet at tonight’s meeting of The Hills Council. Only this council has the authority to remove the animal’s ‘‘restricted dog’’ declaration.
VIDEO: Click on the arrow below to watch a video of Ruby, filmed by pet advocates Team Dog.
‘‘We’re just hoping The Hills Council will see reason [tonight],’’ Mrs Keir said.
The dog is in Ku-ring-gai Animal Pound but the family needs The Hills Council to revoke the declaration they made on the dog in 2011.
A spokesman for The Hills Council said they needed ‘‘evidence and information that would deem it appropriate for the declaration to be removed’’.
In NSW, if the owner of a restricted dog fails to comply with the requirements of the Companion Animals Act 1998, their dog may be seized and destroyed.
One of the requirements is that the dog cannot be found.
Click here to read about restricted dogs and the rules owners must comply with.
Mrs Keir said they didn’t know Ruby was a restricted dog when they were given her by a relative in May 2013 — or for that matter when the dog went missing on February 4.
A Ku-ring-gai Council spokeswoman said they had asked The Hills Council to revoke the restricted breed declaration to conduct their own temperament test on the dog.
Hills Councillor Ray Harty has also written to the council’s general manager Dave Walker asking for the declaration to be revoked.
The council said Ruby was declared a restricted breed after it was discovered the dog, then domiciled in The Hills, was registered as a pitbull cross.
‘‘Council was alerted to the dog following several complaints,’’ the council’s spokesman said yesterday.
An authorised officer of a council can declare a dog restricted under division 6 of the Companion Animals Act 1998.
When a cross breed dog is declared a restricted breed, the owner has 28 days to object to the declaration and obtain a certificate from an approved breed/temperament assessor stating that the dog does not pose a threat to the community.
‘‘Despite the 28-day window and a subsequent extension, no objection was lodged by the owner,’’ The Hills Council spokesman said.
Melanie Isaacs, co-founder of pet advocacy charity Team Dog, said: ‘‘Ruby’s family contacted us on Friday to find out if they had any further options.
‘‘We decided to run a community campaign, including an online petition.
‘‘[The Hills] Council appear to believe that because this request hasn’t come from the microchipped owner, they don’t have any jurisdiction, however we at Team Dog believe this to be incorrect.
‘‘After 14 days the dog becomes the property of Ku-ring-gai Council.
‘‘Their request then is essentially a request as the owner of the dog currently.’’
■ Sign Team Dog's petition to save Ruby: www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/revoke-the-restricted-dog-declaration-on-ruby
■ What do you think?