Court rules dog not to be destroyed after biting girl

Dundee Sheriff Court
Dundee Sheriff Court

A “dangerously out of control” dog which bit a defenceless 10-year-old girl outside a shop won’t be destroyed, a court ruled today.

Bruce Rourke’s collie attacked the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, at a Scotmid store in Castle Street, Tayport.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard the girl was with her mother, who was using an ATM outside the shop. At the same time Rourke was tying up the dog feet away.

The animal lunged at the girl before biting her on the body.

She was taken to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital and given antibiotics as a precaution but suffered no lasting damage.

The court was told the dog has undergone “behaviour modification” since the attack and would be muzzled in public from now on.

Rourke (57), of William Street, Tayport, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Theo Finlay, defence solicitor, said: “There is a report from an animal behaviourist that suggests no order needs to be made for destruction of the dog.”

Sheriff Alastair Brown ordered Rourke to pay a £100 fine and £300 compensation to the girl.

He said: “The usual consequence of a dog attacking someone is that the dog will be destroyed.

“The behaviour modification has taken place and that plan has involved desensitising the dog around traffic.

“The expert had noted the dog was showing signs of stress around traffic and people. The dog has now been treated and you have undertaken to muzzle the dog when you are out.

“In these particular circumstances I will step away from ordering destruction.

“The compensation may be a token amount but your financial circumstances have to be taken into account.”