08:00 Saturday 10 November 2012

Owner of dangerous dog hears how it attacked cat

Written byALEX WAINWRIGHT

A MOTHER of four has been told she must keep her dog under control after it broke a cat’s back — forcing owners to have their treasured pet put down.

Burton Magistrates CourtEmma Crispino, of Bramling Cross Road, Burton, pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog which was dangerously out of control on August 4.

Crispino, 31, also admitted a complaint of being the owner of a dog which was dangerous and not under proper control from Staffordshire Police Chief Constable Mike Cunningham on the same date.

Burton Magistrates’ Court heard that a witness, the owner of 15-year-old Christie the cat, saw his pet running down Golding Crescent at 4pm.

He then heard Christie cry and saw a dog with her in its mouth, shaking her.

Moira Bell, prosecuting, said: “The witness shouted at the dog and it moved away. Then a neighbour intervened and the dog dropped the cat. It then tried to crawl away, but couldn’t.”

Mrs Bell went on to tell the court that the witness walked down Bramling Cross Road where he saw the dog, described as an alsatian husky cross breed, outside the defendant’s house.

He told Crispino what had happened, but she refused to look at the cat.

Mrs Bell said: “The cat’s back was broken and it had to be put down. The owner described it as an awful ordeal and said the cat was a treasured family pet.”

Another two witnesses saw the dog running around the streets on the same date, one of which witnessed the attack on the cat.

During an interview with police, Crispino told officers that one of her children opened the door and the dog ran out, but she decided not to chase it as it would have thought it was a game.

She said that the dog was friendly with her four children and she had an autistic son who loved the dog, so would go for training to keep him.

Michael Taylor, defending, said: “This was a traumatic event clearly for the owner of the cat, but it was equally as traumatic for my client.

“Since the incident, my client has moved house and where she lives now I understand the dog is secure.”

Mr Taylor told the court that it was an animal that was attacked, not another person, and since the event his client had done all she would to ensure it did not happen again. She also paid for the destruction and cremation of the cat.

Magistrates told Crispino that this was a very serious incident and was given a control order for the dog.

Crispino must also pay a fine of £100, court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £25.

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