Condemned dog gets reprieve

  • West Highland terrier gets a second chance following petition by Scottish dog lovers

    A campaign to save the life of an eight-year-old West Highland terrier Sam, which attracted massive local and national interest has paid off.

    Following an appeal by his owner William Shaw, a court has ruled that Sam will now undergo retraining to help correct his behaviour, while his owner waits for the High Court ruling.

    Earlier this month, Aberdeen District Court ruled that Sam must be destroyed following a complaint about the dog’s barking over a number of years.

    Neighbours collected 2,000 signatures to save him and enrolled the support of local member of the Scottish Parliament, Nicol Stephen.

    While Sam waited in kennels following his sentence, his owner, William Shaw, appealed to the High Court to save his life.

    Nicol Stephen MSP said: “I think that most people feel that this issue has mushroomed out of control. Everyone, including the original complainer, wants Sam to stay alive.

    “You’ve got to question if this is really the proper use of Scotland’s High Court system. We’re now going to have a major hearing with a huge amount of media interest to save the life of one dog – whose life I certainly think should be saved.

    “As the local MSP for Sam’s owner, Mr Shaw, I will make sure that the High Court is made aware of the strength of local feeling.”

    A court statement issued after a privatehearing said: “Mr Shaw has now presented the court with a proposal that Sam should reside at the National Canine Defence League re-housing centre in Midlothian, where he will be working with their in-house behaviourist in the hope that a rehabilitation programme can be established to prevent any further nuisance.”

    Mr Shaw now faces a wait for the outcome of the High Court hearing in Edinburgh to find out Sam’s fate.

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