Illegal pit bull faces being put down after being found in Newcastle home

Police attended Katie Conroy's then-home on Armstrong Road in Benwell for an unrelated search. Credit: NCJM

A dog is facing being destroyed after a woman kept her illegally in her Newcastle home.

Police found the Pitbull Terrier-type pet inside a bedroom at 21-year-old Katie Conroy's home when they had cause to search it in relation to another matter.

An officer at the scene noted that the animal had traits of a prohibited breed and she was seized for further examination.

Ms Conroy appeared at Newcastle Magistrates' Court last year and pleaded not guilty to possessing a fighting dog on the grounds her pet was not on the UK list of banned breeds.

However, this week, she was back in the dock to change her plea after an expert, instructed by the defence, examined the animal and concluded it was prohibited.

The dog now faces being destroyed after magistrates adjourned the case until March 22 for the preparation of an expert's report to assess whether she poses a risk to the public. Conroy will be also be sentenced on that date.

Kingsley Njoku, prosecuting, said police attended Conroy's then home on Armstrong Road, in Benwell, on 6 June last year for an unrelated matter.

Mr Njoku continued: "The defendant exited the address through a ground-floor window while the officers gained entry through the front door.

"The defendant was arrested. During a search of the property, officers located a sand and white coloured female dog within a bedroom.

"A dog legislation officer said the dog appeared to be a Pitbull Terrier-type dog, which is a banned breed."

The court heard that the animal was seized and taken to secure police kennels, where it was examined by an expert. She was found to have "substantial characteristics" of a UK prohibited breed.

Mr Njoku made an application for the dog to be destroyed but Jack Lovell, defending, asked that Conroy, now of Burnside, in West Denton, was given time to apply for a certificate to keep the animal, provided an expert deemed it was not a danger to the public.

Mr Lovell added: "There's no suggestion the dog injured anybody or acted aggressively. She genuinely didn't know the dog was a banned breed. She bought it off someone in Swalwell."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...