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Family’s desperate attempts to save beloved dog after council declares it dangerous

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Family’s desperate attempts to save beloved dog after council declares it dangerous

A Whittlesea family is desperately trying to save their beloved pet after the local council declared the dog dangerous, after it was adopted out by the RSPCA.

Belinda Phillips adopted Snoop the American bulldog as a companion for her 16-year-old daughter Maggie, who suffers from mental illness.

Six months after adopting Snoop in June last year, the family received a phone call and letter from Whittlesea council, saying before he was adopted, Snoop had been involved in a fatal attack on another dog.

Both the council and the RSPCA didn’t know about the attack when they adopted him out.

Belinda told Neil Mitchell since the information has come to light, the authorities say Snoop will be declared a dangerous dog and likely put down.

“He’s eight-years-old so he’s not a puppy, he’s very happy just to curl up and snuggle on Maggie’s lap, he’s been a joy,” Belinda said.

“It’s not been made very clear to me, just that he was involved with an incident with another dog.”

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“You shouldn’t be in this position,” Neil said.

“It shouldn’t have happened, it’s a mistake and it’s a distressing mistake.

“Dogs’ impact on mental health, particularly with kids can be staggering.”

Head of Operations, RSPCA Victoria Tegan McPherson has since informed 3AW that Snoop was not aggressive during his time in the shelter.

“RSPCA Victoria then rehomed Snoop in accordance with internal policies and procedures,” she said.

“Neither RSPCA Victoria or Whittlesea council were aware that Snoop had been involved in an attack until after the adoption process occurred. These details only came to light through recent court proceedings relating to the matter.”

Director Partnerships, Planning and Engagement at the City of Whittlesea Liana Thompson said it’s alleged Snoop mauled a four-month-old Maltese-cross puppy to death.

“Council must follow the Domestic Animals Act and declare the dog dangerous, we also have a responsibility to make sure that this doesn’t happen again with this particular dog,” she said.

“The fact that the dog was involved in the attack was not known by either the Council or the RSPCA at the time of his adoption. Council only made the discovery that it had been involved in the attack when information was provided as part of a court case.

“This is an unusual and unfortunate situation and we sympathise with the dog’s new owners. We have been and will continue to offer them our support to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible.”

Neil Mitchell