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Council axes plans to put down stray dog after 11,000-signature petition

PUBLISHED: 15:15 03 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:30 03 April 2019

Ellie will not be rehomed and not put down. Pic: Terry Minns

Ellie will not be rehomed and not put down. Pic: Terry Minns

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Newham Council has reversed its decision to put down a stray dog offered a 'loving home' after a legal battle.

Terry Minns fought to save Ellie's life. Pic: Terry MinnsTerry Minns fought to save Ellie's life. Pic: Terry Minns

More than 11,000 people signed a petition calling on the town hall to release Ellie – a mongrel who ran into Docklands Equestrian Stables in Claps Gate Lane, Beckton, on Valentine’s Day.

Stables manager Terry Minns called the council’s warden service to collect Ellie and told them she would take her in if no one claimed her. But she was later informed the emaciated animal was “dangerous” and would be put to sleep.

Mrs Minns hired a lawyer who took out an emergency order in the High Court to stop the council putting the dog down last month. The legal team sent in a dog behaviour expert who inspected Ellie in kennels and deemed her “scared but not dangerous”.

The local authority said it is now “not its intention to seek destruction of the dog”.

A spokesman added that the council had “sought advice from an expert in animal behaviour who identified that Ellie would need to be rehomed with an owner who does not have young children or other animals”.

This would rule out Ellie being taken in by Mrs Minns, who lives in Beckton with her husband, two dogs and daughter Olivia, seven.

The decision was deemed a “great win” by campaigners, but they vowed to continue their fight to have Ellie become part of Mrs Minns’ family.

Mrs Minns, 45, said: “Initially the council said Ellie was a dangerous dog, then people aggressive and now dog aggressive.

“We have offered two rescues to help rehabilitate Ellie and my dad has very kindly said from day one that she can live in his house with a huge garden and no dogs or children. I will continue to fight for Ellie until she is safe.”

Campaigners have so far raised more than £3,700 to help pay for legal fees.

A Newham Council spokesman said: “Ellie has displayed aggression to other dogs. Our duty of care means that we are not able to rehome the dog without having regard to the risks that our expert has reported following a detailed examination of the dog’s behaviour in various circumstances, including in a public place.”

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