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Campaign launched to save stray Beckton dog on 'death row'

PUBLISHED: 10:57 02 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:12 02 April 2019

Ellie faces being put down by Newham Council. Pic: Terry Minns

Ellie faces being put down by Newham Council. Pic: Terry Minns

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Thousands of people have called for Newham Council to release a stray dog that could be put down despite having a "loving home waiting for her".

Ellie faces being put down by Newham Council. Pic: Terry MinnsEllie faces being put down by Newham Council. Pic: Terry Minns

Town hall chiefs are facing a legal battle over its decision to euthanise Ellie, a mongrel who ran into the Docklands Equestrian Stables in Claps Gate Lane, Beckton, on Valentine’s Day.

After finding her, stables manager Terry Minns called the council’s warden service and spent the evening feeding the emaciated animal.

A warden arrived to pick up Ellie the following morning and Mrs Minns said that if no one claimed her she would give her a home.

However, she said she was later informed Ellie was a “dangerous dog” and would be put to sleep.

Mrs Minns hired a lawyer who has taken out an emergency order in the High Court to twice stop the council putting down the dog.

An independent assessor has said she is not dangerous or a pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino or Fila Braziliero — breeds banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Ellie is now “unfairly sitting on death row”, the lawyer said.

Mrs Minns said: “Ellie isn’t a prohibited breed, she hasn’t bitten anyone and an assessor has declared she is not dangerous.

“She was scared and hungry and from the second I found her I said I would take her in.

“A loving home awaits and she deserves a chance to be part of it.”

More than 7,000 people have signed a petition to save Ellie and £3,000 has so far been crowdfunded to help with court fees.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms has backed the campaign.

He said: “Mrs Minn is willing to take Ellie in and offer the patient training, nurturing and security that she craves.

“I have asked the council if it is willing to reverse the decision it has seemingly taken to put Ellie down; and instead let her be rehomed.”

Mrs Minns believes Ellie is part-Staffordshire bull terrier and was used for breeding before escaping.

Solicitor James Parry said: “We have taken out an emergency order to stop the council killing Ellie on two occasions.

“We are now working towards judicial review proceedings. An expert found her frightened but not dangerous. She is, unfairly, on death row.

My client has offered her a loving home.”

He added that two charities had offered to rehabilitate the dog before she was rehomed with Mrs Minns, who lives in Beckton, with her husband, son, 24, and daughter Olivia, seven.

Mike Barnett, a former police officer who spent more than a decade in a canine unit, inspected Ellie in kennels and said she did not seem dangerous.

Newham Council’s website says it tries to rehome stray dogs with rescue groups and rehoming centres.

A council spokesman would not comment on the legal case adding: “where there is doubt that any particular dog may present a risk to the public we need to ensure that these dogs are not placed in a position where they may cause harm or injury either to people or to other animals.”

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