A Southampton dog owner fighting to save her pet from death row has criticised a council for taking her dog and fears it will now be put down.

The Daily Echo understands that Staffordshire bull terrier Keizer is now in the charge of Southampton City Council after owner Michaela Ryves failed to come forward to collect her or attend court.

But Ms Ryves, from Southampton, insists the decision was made behind her back and believes that her dog will be put down today.

She said: “It’s disgusting – they’re not even giving my dog a chance to live – they’re taking her life from her without my permission,” she added, saying that she would consider legal action.

The three-year-old dog’s fate was due to be decided at a hearing yesterday where magistrates would consider putting the dog to sleep due to its behaviour after it attacked and injured two dogs.

Keizer was in the council’s care after being picked up as a stray by the dog warden team and had to be collected by her owner in seven days which expired over the weekend, the court had heard.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court had been told how Keizer escaped from her Southampton home and attacked two dogs in June and August last year As a result, the council wanted 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 had applied for a control order under the Dangerous Dogs Act and Ms Ryves, of Bassett Green Drive, had consented to these conditions.

But magistrates said they were so concerned they wanted to consider destroying the dog.

They adjourned Friday’s hearing so Ms Ryves could attend a hearing yesterday in case she wanted to plead for her dog.

But the council withdrew its application yesterday because, the Daily Echo understands, the dog is now under its charge.

Ms Ryves, 40, claimed she had phoned the Southampton kennels on Saturday to try to pick the dog up as she was aware of the seven-day deadline, but had been told by staff she could not collect the dog until after the outcome of the court hearing yesterday.

The council was unavailable for comment.