Dog that ate dead owner could return to streets! Despite man’s family wanting him dead!
A dog which ATE its dead owner could be set to return to the streets – despite the man’s family wanting the animal put down.
Staffordshire bull terrier Butch, 10, was discovered feeding on his owner’s corpse at a house in Waterloo, Liverpool, in September 2014 after an estimated four days without food and water.
Merseyside Police said the ‘highly agitated’ staffy was aggressive to officers who attended the scene and seized the canine after the incident, before being granted an order to destroy him last year – which police said Butch’s owner’s family were supportive of.
But animal campaigners battling this ruling have now won the right for it to be reviewed – and claim Butch eating his owner was simply ‘what was natural’ after being deprived of food for so long.
Kate Lee, a trustee of The Senior Staffy Club, said: “Butch was left alone for four days without water and food not knowing if anyone was ever coming to help him.
“He has done what dogs do and what has come naturally to him.”
After Butch was seized, an assessment by a Merseyside Police dog expert found he was dangerous – with footage showing him bite and snap at the handler when asked to lie on his side.
The force were granted an order for his destruction at Liverpool Magistrates Court on April 14 last year and said his late owner’s family backed their calls for him to be put down.
But charity The Senior Staffy Club called for a judicial review and Judge Nigel Bird granted a review into the fairness of the original hearing at Manchester Civil Justice Centre on Tuesday (Jan 10).
The organisation also claim their own handler found Butch was not dangerous – and have released footage they say shows him responding to commands without aggression.
An inquest into Butch’s owner’s death in September 2015 was unable to determine whether he died as a result of any attack from the staffy, and a date for the new review is yet to be announced.
Kate added: “We are really pleased with the decision. It’s something we have been fighting for for quite a while now, and to hear that our points have been listened to is great. It was an outcome that we were always hoping to get.”
Law firm Parry Welch Lacey have represented The Senior Staffy Club in their fight to save Butch’s life – and insisted the long-running case has been hugely expensive for the public purse.
The dog currently remains in Merseyside Police kennels and must stay there until the outcome of the review is decided.
Kate Welsh, the solicitor handling the case for the firm, said: “It is a case that has dragged on for a long time and welfare issues for the doghave to be considered, especially one of this age.
“Kennelling costs the police as a whole £1.6 million a year and in response to a Freedom of Information request Merseyside Police told us they spent £163,610 on kennelling in 2015-16.
“That adds up to quite a lot of policeman’s wages, so it is in the police’s interest to finish this case as quickly as possible.”
In response to the new review, a Merseyside Police spokesman said: “The chief constable notes the decision from court and matters are still ongoing.”
In an earlier statement, they added: “Throughout the proceedings the family were supportive of the police action and the force was pleased that this outcome is the one that they wanted.”