A Peterhead dog facing a potential death sentence after biting a young girl has been given a reprieve.
Carolyn Reid appeared at Peterhead Sheriff Court yesterday to learn the fate of her Yorkshire terrier Lhasa-Apso mix, Loki.
The dog bit the girl on the leg, causing it to bleed, in the town last November.
Reid had previously admitted breaching the Dangerous Dogs Act by losing control of Loki, and sentence was deferred for a vet to assess the dog and determine whether it should be put down if it posed an “ongoing danger” to the public.
And yesterday Sheriff Christine McCrossan said that after reading the vet’s report, she was satisified it was simply an “unfortunate accident”.
Admonishing Reid, she said: “It’s been very helpful to get the vet’s reports, it demonstrates how well you take care of the dog’s health.
“This appears to be a very unfortunate accident.
“This appears to be a dog that was frightened.
“I’m going to make an order to have the dog on a lead and muzzle when you are out.”
Reid, 53, had told the court that the animal had been spooked at the time of the attack.
Her solicitor Sam Milligan said she had fallen moments before the girl passed on her scooter, which meant the dog’s leash had extended.
He also suggested the dog had been frightened by the scooter.
Mr Milligan yesterday said he had nothing to add to the vet’s findings, but said his client was willing to offer compensation at a rate of £50 per month if the court felt it was justified.
“This is not a lady who is in any sense fast and loose about the care of the animal,” he added.
Sheriff McCrossan said a compensation order was not necessary.
Since the incident, Reid, of Lochside Road, Peterhead, has muzzled the dog on walks.
She will now be required to continue this behaviour and ensure that the animal is kept on a leash at all times.
Last night, the father of the young girl who was bitten said he could not believe the court’s decision.
He said: “This woman should not be allowed to have a dog.
“It’s not the dog’s fault, in my opinion.
“It’s the owner who should be punished.”
He added that his family has had no contact with Reid – or been given an apology – since the incident.