A new home has finally been found for a stray dog who was suspected of being raped by a human before authorities threatened to put her to sleep.Olive was wearing a muzzle when she was discovered by a passer-by in the streets of Hillingdon, west London in April 2016.
She was badly injured and further investigation reportedly found she had a prolapsed uterus and her intestines were hanging out – suggesting she could have been raped.
After going through such a traumatic ordeal, authorities deemed her to be an illegal pit bull type dog and magistrates made an order for her to be destroyed.
But her death was put on hold after advocates challenged the decision, arguing she posed no threat to the public and should be exempt from Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).Olive undertook multiple independent behaviour assessments during the legal battle, which showed she was not a danger to those around her. Dog law specialist and the solicitor who represented campaigners James Parry told Metro.co.uk: ‘There was never anything said that suggested Olive had misbehaved before she was found as a stray.
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‘I suppose Olive illustrates the futility of this particular piece of legislation better than any other.
‘This poor dog was found as a stray and the amount of money spent putting her back together again and only for them to say “well she doesn’t look quite right, she’s a pit bull so she’s got to be killed”.’
Having taken a shining to Olive, a woman caring for her in secure kennels offered to be her new keeper in September this year, despite a number of legal requirements she will have to follow.On Tuesday, after years of legal appeals, a judge at Willesden Magistrates Court accepted Olive was not dangerous and overturned the destruction order, finally letting her start a new life.
The new owner, who asked not to be named, will have to ensure she is kept securely and must keep her on a leash and muzzle in all public places.
She is also required to take out insurance covering potential injuries inflicted by the dog.Mr Parry said pets released by authorities in this way are actually ‘the safest you will ever find’ because of the restrictions placed on them. A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs report last year said no animal on its index of exempted dogs has been ‘involved in a significant incident such as a major dog attack or fatality, suggesting that the scheme has achieved its objective of protecting public safety’.
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Mr Parry thinks the country should go one step further and register all dogs and take out third party insurance from them to help prevent incidents.
He said the current stance of ‘it doesn’t look right and it should be killed’ would spark outrage if such an approach was applied to human criminals.
The lawyer added: ‘One of the best things you can do is educate people on how not to get bitten by dogs.He said the new owner is ‘absolutely over the moon’ about welcoming Olive into her east London home, after about two weeks of further legal requirements.
Andrew Cornes has owned the dog for 10 years (Picture: West Mercia Police) Co-defendant Bobby Watts is due to be sentenced for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray for his role in the incident (Picture: West Mercia Police)He added that the default position was that the court make a destruction order ‘unless the court is satisfied the dog does not present a danger to public safety’.
Mr Parry said kennel staff ‘build enormous bonds’ with the dogs they care for and that it ‘must be heartbreaking’ when they are put to sleep.
He said the kennelling costs over the three and a half years would have worked out to around £20 a day in taxpayer’s money.BSL Victim Support UK are one of the groups who helped raise money for legal costs and is supporting the new keeper during the transition process. A spokeswoman told Metro.co.uk: ‘Olive is in a very very good pair of hands. I think that Olive is going to have one of the best homes we ever could have hoped for her.
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‘This is why we do what we do – to get the dogs home and the only thanks we ever want is to see the faces of the dogs when they’re back home.’
She said the group has raised around £27,000 in the past year and has saved 300 dogs from being put to sleep.
Another campaign group, Olive’s Fight Against BSL, previously said: ‘We want her to live a normal life like any other dog. This is just ridiculous.
‘A loving home awaits her but she’s not allowed to go to that loving home. She’s a great dog, a perfect dog.’
Hillingdon Council has been contacted for comment.