Dog to be destroyed after Southport man seen as irresponsible owner
Jul 4 2008 By Kathryn Carr
A DOG is set to be destroyed after its owner failed to prove that he could handle a pet responsibly.
The pit bull terrier, named Ant, after one half of the popular TV duo, Ant and Dec, will be put down after owner
James Gelling failed to convince North Sefton Magistrates Court that it was not a danger to public safety.
Gelling, 20, of Victoria Street, Southport, pleaded guilty to possessing a breed prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Prosecuting, Sandra McDonald told the court that Gelling’s criminal past was crucial to the argument, and that his character was the “crux” of the case, stating: “It all comes down to the handler of the dog. The owner of the dog must be a responsible person.”
Mrs McDonald cited Gelling’s catalogue of previous convictions as a reason why he should not keep the pet, adding: “That sort of person cannot be a responsible owner and therefore the court cannot be satisfied that in the hands of this defendant the dog in question does not constitute a danger to public safety.”
Defending, Michael Braham said that “too much reliance” had been put on Gelling, and “not enough reliance on the dog itself”.
He insisted that Gelling would comply with the conditions of the contingent order for which he had applied, by making sure the dog was kept on a lead, muzzled, and was also insured, neutered and tattooed for identification purposes.
Mr Braham urged the court to consider the dog itself as opposed to its owner, adding: “You need to look at the animal rather than the individual.”
Chairman of the Magistrates, Mr Jenkins listed reasons including Gellings “attitude to authority”, “use of drugs” and “non compliance with previous court orders” for the bench’s decision.
Mr Jenkins said: “We cannot be satisfied that Mr Gelling would adhere to the conditions of the contingent order.
“We therefore, with regret, order the destruction of the dog.”
James Gelling will be sentenced later this month.
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Bless the Bullys