A COUNTY animal lover has been left relieved after his dog escaped a destruction order – despite it attacking a pensioner outside its home.

Shaun Leonard was in charge of the American bulldog when it escaped from his garden and launched an attack on pensioner Jean Johnstone.

The two-year-old dog, named Bentley, ran from its garden at Park Road in Ormiston and jumped up at the OAP before sinking its teeth into her right leg.

The 71-year-old victim was left screaming in agony but managed to fight the dog off and make her way to safety.

Leonard, 39, rushed from his home after hearing barking and found Bentley in the garden and the woman standing on the pavement bleeding from her wounds.

After hearing his dog had attacked the woman, Leonard told her: “He doesn’t usually do that”.

The pensioner called in the police and had to attend Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment to her injuries following the attack in the village on March 16 last year.

Leonard had previously admitted being in charge of the unrestrained dog, which jumped up and attacked the woman, when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in December.

He returned to court for sentencing last Monday, where Sheriff Donald Corke fined him £200 and added that the dog would be allowed to live as long as its owner controls it in public.

Solicitor Milly Virtue, defending, said that Bentley’s demeanour changed after being attacked by two Alsatians in 2017.

Following the Alsatian attack, Bentley was said to be “timid and flinching” when approached.

Fiscal depute Mr Keane told the court that Mrs Johnstone was making her way past Leonard’s home at about 11pm on March 16 last year when she was attacked by the dog.

Mr Keane said that the elderly victim had been left bleeding heavily due to “a large bite mark on her right leg” that had been “pierced by teeth”.

The victim managed to make her way to safety following the attack and when police arrived at Leonard’s home he admitted “hearing the disturbance involving the dog” but had not seen the incident.

He claimed that his wife had inadvertently left the front door open and Bentley had escaped the house and gone on to bite Mrs Johnstone.