A BARROW mum-of-five has revealed her relief after the decision to destroy her beloved family dog was withdrawn.

Susan White had to wait nearly a year to be reunited with her three-year-old dog Bella after she was seized by police in October 2018 following a report that she was a banned breed.

The 32-year-old has described what it was like to finally have her home after she picked Bella up from Barrow Police station.

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“I would have fought until my last breath to have her home and when I saw her I was just over the moon,” she said.

“She was just so happy to see me and when I got home all the kids were just so relieved and happy to see her.

“The kids have been in hysterics and have literally been asking everyday when she was going to be home.”

Police seized Bella due to her being suspected of being an illegal dog breed.

However, thanks in part to the work of the Putting Breed Specific Legislation to Sleep UK group, an organisation who supports owners whose dogs have been seized under the Dangerous Dogs Act, Bella was later identified as being an Alapaha breed.

Therefore, after appearing at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court Bella was allowed to be returned to Miss White.

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Miss White said it had an extremely difficult time for the whole family as Bella was not only her beloved pet, she is also loved by her five children, Ryan, 14, Summer, ten, Fazer, seven, Leon, five, and Kitana, four.

Miss White, of Longway, Barrow, described Bella as a ‘soft and loving dog’ who loves her cuddles.

She also described her daughter Kitana’s particular fondness of Bella.

“Kitana will always play with Bella and even puts her fingers in her mouth and Bella does nothing,” she said.

“When she was first taken away from us it was just horrible.

“I cried everyday for three weeks as I have had her since she was a puppy.

“She follows me absolutely everywhere in the house and I always love how excited she gets when I put her dog bed on my bed and when I come up she is just wagging her tail.

“It has been very hard and a very, very long time.

“It was even harder to have such few updates regarding how she was coping.”

Following the decision Miss White said the only conditions put in place is for Bella to be spayed, microchipped and to have insurance.

A spokeswoman from Cumbria Police said: "Whilst we understand the frustration of the owner, the first priority for Cumbria Constabulary will always be public safety.

“The dog was seized due to the suspected breed of the dog being illegal, the dog couldn’t be returned to the owner until the breed of the dog was proven not to be an illegal type. 

“The length of time this takes and delays by a number of processes that were carried out meant the dog was retained longer”

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