Sad end in battle to save bull terrier

The dog tied up in the children's play park after attacking a number of children. Picture by John Tuttiett
The dog tied up in the children's play park after attacking a number of children. Picture by John Tuttiett

Campaigners battling to save a dog who attacked a dozen children in a play park have expressed their sorrow after being told it had been put down.

More than 8,000 people signed an online petition calling for the tan-coloured Staffordshire bull terrier, called Marley, to be placed in a sanctuary and undergo training.

The dog attacked 12 children in a play park near Shelley Crescent, in Blyth, on May 18.

It was wrestled to the ground and tied up by an adult, before being taken away by police.

A police spokesperson confirmed that the dog was destroyed on May 24.

Campaigners involved in Marley’s Support Group were keen to see the dog given a second chance and felt at just 14 months old, could have been retrained.

A spokesperson said they thought the dog was looking for affection when he went to the playground.

“When surrounded by so many children, we would suggest he became over excited and overwhelmed by the situation. We are merely asking if this dog was a real threat to the general public could he have been housed somewhere where he could have been rehabilitated?

“A sanctuary which offers suitable provisions had come forward to keep this dog from being destroyed but also comply with the law and never to pose a threat to the general public again.

“It is so sad that poor Marley was not given a chance, considering how young he was.

“There are thousands of dogs out there, who are safe and sound because they have the right upbringing and training.”

l A woman has denied being the owner of the dog which attacked 12 children in the play park.

Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court last Friday, Claire Neale, 37, of Chasedale Crescent, Blyth, pleaded not guilty to the charge. A trial will take place in February.

As part of her bail conditions she must now live in South Tyneside, cannot enter Blyth and cannot own a dog.