A DOG owner has been allowed to keep his pet, despite it being listed as a banned breed in the UK.
Magistrates agreed to spare the life of the Dogo Argentino and said it could remain with Mohammed Ismail at his Byrkley Street home in Burton, after police decided to impose stringent conditions on the dog, having originally brought a destruction order against it.
The dog, called Polo, was taken away in April after officers received reports it was living at the property and may be a banned breed.
But rather than have the dog, which the UK Government website states is ‘against the law to own in the UK’, destroyed or taken away permanently, magistrates at Burton’s Horninglow Street court were satisfied it could remain with the owner as long as certain conditions were adhered to.
These include having it muzzled and on a lead at all times when out in public, and having it microchipped, neutered and tattooed.
Mr Ismail, who said he was unaware his pet was banned and considered to be dangerous, was also warned to ensure the Dogo Argentino could never escape from his garden.
The 40-year-old told the court he bought the dog as a puppy and that it had always lived around children, never causing any harm.
PC Jim Kaufman, of Staffordshire Police, also said the dog had not shown any signs of aggression towards officers or other handlers since been taken from the property.
Mr Ismail said: “I’ve had the dog since he was a puppy.
“He has been around kids for the last year and a half - he lives with kids. He is a really lovely dog.
“When I got him I thought he was another type of dog. When the officer said it was a Dogo, I had no idea.
“He is just a friendly dog and has never been aggressive.”