A COURT has ordered the death of a Ryedale dog unless its owner lodges an appeal within 21 days.

Kieron Philip Shepherd, 25, did not attend York Magistrates Court to try and prevent "Brandy" being put down under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991.

Lucy Holland, for North Yorkshire Police, presented evidence that Brandy is a prohibited type of dog because he is a pit bull terrier type fighting dog.

She said Shepherd, of Yorkersgate, Malton, was not a "fit and proper" person to have care of the dog because of his criminal record, including 10 offences of violence, 10 of theft, seven against police or against courts, two drug offences and one for public disorder.

And she said that the dog lunged at and was aggressive towards a specialist police officer on two separate occasions, despite being under restraint from a dog handler.

"We are satisfied this is a dangerous dog," magistrates said and made an order that he could be put down.

They also ordered Shepherd to pay the £226 fee for the police's application after hearing that he had been offered the chance to sign a disclaimer on the dog.

Had he done so, police would have been free to have the dog put down without going to court.

Brandy has been kept in kennels since October and will continue to live there for 21 days.

If Shepherd does not appeal against the order by then, police will then ask the kennels to call in a vet and have him put down.

If Shepherd appeals against the order, Brandy will be allowed to live until at least the appeal hearing.

The Dangerous Dog Act was passed after a series of fatal and serious injuries caused by dogs.