MAGISTRATES have ordered the destructionof a dog that savaged three rare breed cows in Perranuthnoe.
The 18-month-old pitbull, named Rocky, was involved in the incident at Trenow Cove Dairy on March 20, which left one of the Whitebred Shorthorns facially disfigured and another dog dead.
The dog's owner, Caine O'Brien, of Whistlers Walk, London, was fined £470 at Truro Magistrates' Court this week after pleading guilty to owning a dog that was worrying livestock and being in possession of a dangerous dog.
The court heard how O'Brien, aged 19, was walking Rocky with his cousin, Aaron Quilligan, of St Levan Road, Marazion, when the incident occurred.
Maurice Champion, for the prosecution, said Rocky and Quilligan's dog Dolly, a Newfoundland/Staffordshire bull terrier cross, attacked the cows after running into the field in which they were kept.
Dairy owner Karen Wall's husband Nick shot Dolly dead with a 12-bore shotgun, causing O'Brien to collect Rocky and leave the field before the dog was later seized by police.
The cows had wounds ranging from bites to the ankles to flesh torn from the face, injuries so severe that one cow, Guinevere, is permanently
disfigured and will have to undergo rehabilitation.
Mr Champion said her owner would now be unable to take the cow – one of only 150 in the world – to the Royal Cornwall Show because of the attack.
Police dog legislation officer Phil Nankivell explained Rocky had been detained in a kennel since the incident.
"The dog itself has not shown any animosity to people," he said. "It does appear to be a good-natured dog. On that basis, with a limited time we have had with it, I can't say we have got any issues with it being returned to its owner."
O'Brien told magistrates that if returned to him, he proposed to keep the dog at his flat or a hostel he lived in, and that it would then stay with his mother while he attended college in the daytime.
He conceded, however, that he wasn't certain whether he would be allowed to keep a dog in either of the locations.
Chairman of the magistrates Graham Symmons told O'Brien: "We don't believe you are a fit and proper person to own this particular type of dog, and that you won't be in control of the dog for 100 per cent of the time."
Mrs Wall, speaking outside court after the hearing, said she thought the outcome had been fair.
"People need to be mindful of what type of dog they have," she said. "There are different types of dog and different types of people. I have nothing against dogs at all; most of the problem is with the owner."