A FAMILY has pleaded for the life of their dog which has been put on death row.

Magistrates will decide Staffordshire bull terrier Keizer’s fate on Monday after hearing how she attacked two other dogs.

But owner Michaela Ryves described the animal as a “loving dog” and said that her children would be devastated if she was put down.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court was told how Keizer, which belongs to the mother-of-five, from Southamp-ton, had escaped and injured two other dogs walking past.

As a result South-ampton City Council wants the dog kept on a lead and muzzled when off the property, to wear a collar with the owner's name and address and be kept securely at the home and not be allowed to stray.

It applied for a control order under the Dangerous Dogs Act and Ms Ryves, of Bassett Green Drive, had agreed to these conditions. But the case had to be adjourned as magistrates said they were so concerned that they were considering destroying |the dog.

However, they delayed the case so Ms Ryves, who was unable to attend because she is pregnant, is able to plead her case to the court on Monday.

The three-year-old dog is currently at Southampton pound awaiting its fate.

The court heard how Keizer attacked a Jack Russell causing it leg injuries in June last year, Ms Ryves had said she would|rehome the dog so no action was taken, but then the dog escaped from the property again and attacked another dog in August last year.

A woman was left with a scratched face and injured foot in this incident.

Southampton City Council dog warden Paula Davies told magistrates the dog was not aggressive to people, but that she had recommended to the owners in the past that it be put down as it was aggressive and not able to be rehomed.

Ms Ryves, 40, of Bassett Green Drive, said: “I can understand Keiz has attacked dogs and neighbours are distressed, and I feel for them, but we are trying to find a home with a secure garden so Keiz can play outside with the children.”

She said the dog loved the family and had never attacked the children.

“I think the situation is deeply distressing,” she said.

“The children will be devastated.

“I am going to plead with them and ask them if there is a chance she doesn’t get put down and put a strict order on her to be muzzled.”

She said her son, Brannon, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, would be devastated.

“Keiz is his best friend,” she added.

“In my heart I know there is a good dog in there.

“She has been a big part of our lives.”