Ruby escapes death sentence

RUBY the dog's owner Michelle Keir was elated when The Hills councillors backed a mayoral minute on Tuesday to revoke a restricted breed declaration it made in 2011, when Ruby was living in The Hills.

By law, Ku-ring-gai Council would have had to put the dog down if The Hills Council had not revoked the declaration.

Mayor Michelle Byrne said a veterinary certificate had been received indicating the dog was not a pitbull cross — a restricted breed — but a staffordshire terrior cross.

But The Hills deputy mayor Andrew Jefferies said he was not happy that some councillors had involved the media in Team Dog's campaign to save Ruby.

"I'm not trying to make political capital on emotional and sensitive issues," he said.

Councillors Yvonne Keane and Robyn Preston said Team Dog should have contacted councillors when they realised Ruby needed their help — instead of flooding their inboxes with 200 emails.

"I had no idea where the emails came from, so the genuineness of your campaign I think dissipates," Cr Preston told Melanie Isaacs, co-founder of pet advocacy group Team Dog which set up an online petition through which people could also send emails to councillors.

Cr Keane said no one could reply to the emails as they bounced back.

Cr Mike Thomas said he was "appalled" the council was talking about Ruby.

"This matter was actually raised [in 2011] because this dog was found wandering at large . . . it came to our attention again when it was wandering," Cr Thomas said.

In NSW, a requirement of the Companion Animals Act 1998 is that a restricted dog cannot be found roaming.

Cr Thomas said a childhood friend of his was attacked by a dog and had to have facial reconstructive surgery.

Ms Isaacs said: "Any dog escaping is a concern [but] the solution to that is not to put asleep this family's dog but to provide assistance."

WHAT IS A RESTRICTED DOG?

■ American pitbull terrier or pitbull terrier

■ Japanese tosa

■ Argentinean fighting dog

■ Brazilian fighting dog

■ Any dog declared by an authorised officer of a council to be a restricted dog.

Click here to read the story that led to this decision.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop