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Terrier that killed poodle at pet show released.

Summary: DUBAI -- The Dubai Municipality released Trip, the American Staffordshire terrier who killed a poodle at the Dubai Pet Show last month, to his owner after the dog remained calm for three weeks in its control. However, the owner was fined Dh5,000 for failure in taking necessary measures to prevent the dog from harming others.

DUBAI -- The Dubai Municipality released Trip, the American Staffordshire terrier who killed a poodle at the Dubai Pet Show last month, to his owner after the dog remained calm for three weeks in its control. However, the owner was fined Dh5,000 for failure in taking necessary measures to prevent the dog from harming others.

Trip's keeper, who requested not to be named, was also made to sign an undertaking that he will keep the dog muzzled and on leash while taking it out in the public and will hand the dog over to the municipality if it causes any harm again.

The owner was asked to surrender his four-year-old pet to the Municipality's Veterinary Services Section following the incident on February 3 when Trip killed a six-year-old toy poodle named Pluto at the show attended by nearly 35,000 people including children.

Subsequently, Trip was at the centre of a controversy over the entry of banned breeds at the popular show and their raising by owners in Dubai. Following this, the Municipality announced new screening measures for the annual show including a total ban on seven prohibited breeds from next year.

The incident kicked up a heated debate on the breed-specific legislations. And several dog lovers also rallied for the release of Trip through a facebook campaign. Had he been found ferocious during the observation period, the terrier could have been put down as per the local rules.

"The dog had not contracted any disease and it was very friendly when it was here," Adil Eltayeb Elbadri, a senior veterinary health inspection officer who heads the Animal Welfare Unit said on Thursday.

"We did not find it aggressive. Probably it was frightened when it attacked the poodle. That is animal behaviour, you know. Unfortunately, the other dog died," he told Khaleej Times. Trip's owner said the terrier was "nice and quiet, the way he has always been before," after it reached home.

The owner's mother said Trip had never turned violent towards any visitors or the family's other dogs that are smaller. "Thank God he remained calm during the three weeks of isolation also, though we were allowed to spend two hours daily with him," she said.

"We have learnt our lessons, and the incident has raised a lot of awareness among other dog owners, as well. So, we hope this will never happen again," she said adding that a new muzzle has been bought for Trip who is otherwise collared and leashed when he is taken out.

The family said they had completed all the procedures and formalities with the Dubai Municipality and would now have to check with the prosecution about what remains to be done with the court.

The Dubai Public Prosecution had withheld the passport of Trip's owner after Pluto's owner filed a complaint with the police. The latter said Trip was never her family's target or concern, but his owners and the organisers of the show who violated the rules, endangering other dogs and children at the show were.

"Even after one month, it has not been easy for me to accept the death of my Pluto. I'm not going to give up and I will follow up the case to bring to justice those who were at fault," she said.

sajila@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 1, 2012
Words:621
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