Caucasian Shepherd dog spared immediate destruction over Chesterfield attack
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The three-year-old animal - a very large breed native to the Caucasus region named Flynn - has been rehomed with a dog rescue charity.
As part of a contingency destruction order magistrates ordered that Flynn’s owners should undergo “intensive training” with the dog at the charity’s kennels.
Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard how on September 29 last year Flynn mauled his victim after escaping from his owners’ Duckmanton home.
Prosecutor Sian Young described how the animal’s keeper Beverly Bennett, 63, was seen “struggling” to control the dog - which “lunged” at the man.
It then bit the victim’s arms and hand, “drawing blood”.
A witness described seeing Flynn “growling and snarling” before sinking his teeth in.
In a statement read out to the court the victim said he was “concerned for the safety” of his family and children.
Miss Young read: “It has left me in a lot of pain - I have not been able to work and lost income. The wound is still healing.”
However Tina Wagon, defending, told the court Flynn - whose breed can weigh up to 11 stones - had been “grabbed” by his victim before he attacked.
She said: “Mrs Bennett says the dog walked towards (the complainant) showing no signs of aggression - (the complainant) tried to grab the dog around the neck.
“It was at that point that he bit him - it’s a three-year-old dog who has never shown any sign of aggression before. It’s human-friendly and dog-friendly.
“The issue is whether Mr and Mrs Bennett are capable of controlling the dog - it’s a very big dog.”
Magistrates heard the owner of award-winning London-based charity Dogs On The Streets, Michelle Clark, had offered to rehome the dog and provide Bennett and her husband with “intensive training” - enabling them to step away from immediate destruction.
Solicitor Miss Wagon said: “The idea is not just the dog being trained but the owners being trained as well.”
Bennett, of Rectory Road, Duckmanton, admitted being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury.
Magistrates told her: “We’re going to give Flynn a chance and not order destruction, however there will be a contingency destruction order.”
Under the terms of the order Bennett was ordered to keep Flynn muzzled, harnessed and on a lead at all times while in public.
While he should be “adequately housed” at all times, ensuring escape is not possible.
The magistrate said Flynn must undergo “intensive training” - and the decision over whether to return him would be decided by Miss Clark, the police and another canine expert.
Bennett was also ordered to compensate the police with £3,000 in kenneling costs while the case was awaited by the court and £300 compensation to the victim.
It was heard during the case that if Flynn and his owners’ rehabilitation failed he would remain permanently in the care of Dogs On The Streets.