Thousands of people have called for a London council to release a stray dog that faces being put down despite having a “loving home waiting for her”.
Newham council is facing a legal battle over its decision to euthanise Ellie, a mongrel who ran into the Docklands Equestrian Stables on Valentine’s Day.
Stables manager Terry Minns called the council’s warden service and spent the evening feeding the emaciated animal.
A warden arrived to pick up Ellie the following morning and Mrs Minns said that if no one claimed her she would give her a home. However, she was later informed Ellie was a “dangerous dog” and would be put to sleep.
Mrs Minns hired a lawyer who has taken out an emergency order in the High Court to twice stop the council putting down the dog.
Legal action: Terry Minns with daughter Olivia and her dogs Rosie, Archie and Daisy (Lucy Young)
An independent assessor said Ellie is not dangerous or a pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino or Fila Brazileiro — breeds banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Ellie is “unfairly, on death row”, the lawyer said.
Mrs Minns told the Standard: “Ellie isn’t a prohibited breed, she hasn’t bitten anyone and an assessor has declared she is not dangerous. She was scared and hungry and from the second I found her I said I would take her in. A loving home awaits and she deserves a chance to be part of it.”
More than 7,000 people have signed a petition to save Ellie and more than £3,000 has so far been crowdfunded to help with court fees. Mrs Minns believes she is part-Staffordshire bull terrier and was used for breeding before escaping.
Solicitor James Parry said: “We have taken out an emergency order to stop the council killing Ellie on two occasions. We are now working towards judicial review proceedings. An expert found her frightened but not dangerous. She is, unfairly, on death row. My client has offered her a loving home.”
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He added that two charities had offered to rehabilitate the dog before she was rehomed with Mrs Minns, who lives in Beckton with her husband and daughter Olivia, seven.
Mike Barnett, a former police officer who spent a decade in a canine unit, inspected Ellie in kennels and said she did not seem dangerous.
Newham council’s website says it tries to rehome stray dogs with rescue groups and rehoming centres. A spokesman would not comment on the case.
East Ham MP Stephen Timms has backed the campaign to save Ellie, and said: “I have asked the council if it is willing to reverse the decision.”