'Greyhound attack' Staffie owner says he will fight to save them
DETERMINED dog owner Mark Horsley says he will fight all the way to stop his pets being put down.
The 39-year-old was given an ultimatum by police after his two Staffordshire Bull Terriers mauled a greyhound in Tuffley.
They told him to have his dogs destroyed or he would be taken to court.
The deadline for his decision is now up and he has refused to send his pets to their death.
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"My dogs are loving and have never hurt anyone before," he said.
"They are part of my family and I just can't agree to go through with it and will fight it in court."
The Wilton Road resident has known the the two dogs, Poppy and Toby, since they were puppies as they belonged to his uncle, who has now passed away.
Mark took over caring for them two years ago and said: "I love them and they are a big part of my life.
"They are brilliant with kids and my seven-year-old nephew comes out with me all the time when I walk them."
He added: "If I thought for one moment they would attack someone I would consider them being put down, but I know it won't happen again."
The Staffies slipped under the fence of his partner's home in Tuffley Avenue on December 30 and attacked two dogs owned by Andrea Wild.
Her greyhound Billy was badly injured and already suffering from cancer, so she decided it was kindest to have him put down.
She called the attack the "worst thing to have happened to her".
Mark said he had let the dogs out in the garden and then run back inside to turn off a tap.
He said he was "shocked" when he came back out and discovered what had happened.
He said he has since improved the fencing at his partner's house so the dogs can no longer escape.
Police said they were now looking at whether to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service or take Mr Horsley to court for being in charge of dogs that are dangerously out of control.
A spokesman said: "We feel it is right to have the dogs destroyed as they put people in fear."