x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Pitbull that mauled poodle at Dubai pet show released to owner

It was feared that the dog, whose name is Trip, was to be put down following 21 days of observation at Dubai Municipality.

DUBAI // A pitbull which bit and killed a poodle at a pet show last month has been released back to his owner.

It was feared that the dog, whose name is Trip, was to be put down following 21 days of observation at Dubai Municipality.

However, the animal was released back to his owner, a 28-year-old Indian expatriate, on Monday.

"They did their necessary checks and found that his behaviour is fine," said the owner, who declined to be named.

"It's amazing that he's back with us, but there's a worry at the back of my mind that the issue isn't over yet."

A spokesman for the Municipality was unavailable for comment.

Trip has been held since just after the Dubai Pedigree & Whiskas Pet Show, on February 3, where he bit and killed a toy poodle named Pluto. The owner has been fined Dh5,000 as a result of the incident.

The attack sparked divided opinion about whether large and potentially dangerous dogs such as pitbulls should or could be kept as family pets.

During the period in isolation at the veterinary services section of the municipality, both Trip's owner and friends came regularly to visit.

Kristina Cocco, who maintained a Facebook group calling for the release of Trip, said that the dog was good tempered even when kept in a solitary pen.

"Even though he was locked in a room for a long time, it didn't change him," she said. "He must have been sad and he must have felt lonely, but he was never aggressive and the staff at the municipality had no problem with him."

She said that both Trip's owner and herself were grateful for the 650 people who had supported the cause.

"I think it made a big difference," she said. "Most of the people on the Facebook page didn't know Trip but they were upset that he could be put down."

mcroucher@thenational.ae