Reprieve as Buster case goes to appeal; PET'S FATE STILL HANGS IN BALANCE.
Byline: LUKE TRAYNOR Chief Reporter email@example.com @LUKETRAYNORECHO
THE fate of a Staffordshire bull terrier, due to be put down for eating part of its dead owner, still hangs in the balance.
Last week, a District Judge decided the nine-year-old bull terrier, referred to as both Buster and Butch, should be put down following the grim find in Waterloo last September.
Merseyside Police, who applied for the destruction order, claimed the dog was aggressive when it was later dealt with by one of their handlers, PC Stuart Davidson, who was bitten.
The dead owner's family also wanted the pet put down, believing it to be dangerous.
But solicitors acting for Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre, in Sefton, and The Senior Staffy Club, based in Worcester, have lodged an appeal to give the pet a final chance for survival, meaning it will remain alive until the outcome of that legal hearing.
James Parry, representing those two organisations, said his clients were "very disappointed" by the ruling at Liverpool Magistrates' Court, adding there had been numerous offers to rehome Buster, or Butch.
Mr Parry told the ECHO: "There was no evidence in this case that the dog killed the deceased.
"We believe the tests applied to check on the animal were not appropriate and outdated. We believe there are good prospects of succeeding at appeal."
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "We welcome the decision of the court."
Buster being examined by animal behaviour expert Dr Roger Mugford