Dog owner 'tried to steal his own pets back from animal shelter when they escaped from his house'
Animals mistaken for strays by a dog warden who took them to a shelterAlan Gair was asked to pay a 176 fine to get them back but he refusedIt was claimed that he threatened to return with a baseball batHe was arrested near the shelter at night with a crowbar and hacksaw
One of the dogs has been put down for attacking another animal
18:51 GMT, 2 December 2012
Charged: Alan Gair is to appear in court for allegedly trying to steal his own dogs back from an animal shelter
A man who allegedly tried to steal his own dogs back from an animal shelter after they were mistaken for strays is to appear in court.
Alan Gair was arrested near the shelter in Newcastle Upon Tyne with a crowbar, hacksaw and a head-torch, five days after his pets were impounded.
He was charged with one count of going equipped for burglary and is awaiting a court appearance.
His two dogs, escaped from the home he shares with partner Joanne Simons, 29 last month.
A dog warden picked up the black labrador Jessie and Australian shepherd Max after assuming they were strays and took them to the Benton North Farm shelter in Newcastle.
Gair, who is unemployed and has three children with Miss Simons went to the shelter the next day to collect his dogs.
He says he was asked to pay a 176 impounded dog fine but refused.
It is claimed he threatened to return to the shelter with a baseball bat.
He said: ‘I said I would bring a baseball bat, but I never threatened to hit anyone.’
A trustee of the shelter has confirmed that Labrador Jessie, four, was put down last week for attacking another dog.
Gair is still fighting to get Max back from the shelter.
Impounded: Black labrador Jessie (left) and Australian shepherd Max (right) were picked up by a dog warden who mistook them for strays and took them to a shelter
He said: ‘Not having him is really upsetting.
‘It's so difficult trying to explain it to the children and thinking he won't be back for Christmas.’
and cat shelter manager Leyla Rutter said her staff had arranged two
occasions when Gair could have come to pick his pets up, a claim which
Ms Rutter said: ‘If dogs are unclaimed after seven days, they are our property.’
The shelter managed said Max is now up for re-housing and if Gair and Ms Simons could prove they have a suitable home for the pet they could have him back.