A WOMAN whose pet terrier killed another dog in a Cumbrian hotel lobby has vowed to fight a judge's order that it should be destroyed.

A horrified couple saw the out-of-control bull terrier cross maul their pet shi tzu to death seconds after they took it into the Greyhound Hotel in Shap.

The man in charge of the cross-breed bull terrier - called Jerry - was looking after it for its owner, 25-year-old Penrith woman Chloe Dine.

At Carlisle's magistrates' court, she tried but failed to persuade District Judge Gerald Chalk that her dog should not be put to sleep.

The court heard a harrowing outline of the attack on January 30. It happened seconds after Sarah Wilson and Peter Mills walked with their dog into the Main Street hotel just after mid day.

“Mr Mills was walking with his shih tzu, called Honey, when a black and white cross-breed type dog charged into the porchway,” said Andy Travis, prosecuting.

“It went straight for Honey, attacking her and mauling her."

Jerry had his jaws clamped on to the terrified shih tzu, causing her to bleed. Miss Wilson was feared for her safety.

Nathan Brompton, 43, who was looking after Jerry, jumped on him and managed to loosen the dog's jaws but by that stage Honey was too badly injured to be saved.

In court Miss Dine, of Rowan Court, Penrith, told Judge Chalk: "Jerry has never shown any aggression before.

"He's the softest, loveliest dog.

"I have pictures of him around kids. I'm the parent of a six year old child and I'd never let a dangerous dog near her."

Judge Chalk said that he would make a destruction order because he had seen no evidence during the hearing to convince him that Jerry was not a danger to the public.

After the case, Miss Dine said she would do all she could to save her dog, which originally came from a rescue centre.

She added: "I'm devastated.

"They shouldn't kill a dog without looking at other ways to deal with it. They could say that she should always be muzzled when he's outside.

"I'm going to fight it. Jerry isn't dangerous."

Mr Brompton's lawyer had earlier told the court that he made an honest mistake, thinking the pub was closed when he brought Jerry to the lobby while not on his lead.

He always had the dog on a lead when he had it in a public place, he said.

After that earlier hearing, Brompton, of Main Street, Shap, a night porter who at the time lived and worked in the hotel, was fined £180, with costs of £85, and a £20 victim surcharge.