A HAMPSHIRE canine facing death row after attacking another dog has been given a reprieve.
Samson the Staffordshire bull terrier has been given one final chance by a court after attacking another dog.
Southampton magistrates ruled that Samson could be spared the death sentence as long as a number of restrictions were put in place by his owner Anne Prescott.
But the 47-year-old carer was told that should she fail to comply with any one of those orders the five-yearold family dog, which she has owned since it was a puppy, would immediately be put down.
The court heard how Samson escaped from Prescott’s home in Rosewall Road, Southampton, while being looked after by her 15-year-old daughter as she was visiting her neighbour, on April 9, this year.
The dog ended up a few streets away in Jupiter Close, where Mark and Michelle Roberts opened their front door to their son and found the Staffordshire bull terrier on their pathway.
Samson ran inside their home and attacked their Shar-Pei, biting it on its neck, until Mr Roberts was able to separate the two with a deck chair.
The Shar-Pei was left with six puncture holes to its neck and was only saved thanks to the amount of neck fat which is a characteristic of the breed.
The court also heard that this was not the first time Samson had attacked.
In December 2009 he had escaped from the front garden and attacked a dog and its owner, but no further action was taken.
In mitigation, Susan Ridge told the court that Prescott immediately showed remorse for the “unfortunate accident” and has already taken a number of steps to prevent it happening again, including the use of a muzzle when outside the house.
Dog behaviour expert Dr Anne McBride told the court that Samson did not pose a threat to humans and that he only had issues with others dogs which could be managed with training.
Prescott pleaded guilty to being in charge of a dangerous dog which was out of control in a public place and was ordered to pay £755 in fines and to follow all of the restrictions in the Contingency Destruction Order.
These include installing a dog gate in the hallway to act as a barrier should the front door be left open, to always wear a muzzle when in public and to neuter the dog.
Outside of court Prescott told the Daily Echo that she was “relieved” that her dog was saved from the death sentence.