LLANELLI magistrates have spared the life of a "friendly and well-behaved" pit bull terrier after hearing the three-year-old bitch was happily settled within a "loving" family home in Ammanford.

Tia's owner, Jacqueline Marie Lynch, told the court she had been shocked to discover her pet was a pit bull-type animal who was required to be registered by law.

An application brought by Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable Simon Prince could have resulted in Tia being put down.

But the bench agreed to allow the animal to be registered after Ms Lynch, 37, of 9 Ffynnon Las, pledged to ensure her pet

would be neutered, tattooed, insured, kept under proper control and on a lead by a person aged 16 or over and muzzled when out in public.

Giving evidence, Ms Lynch said: "I was initially shocked to find she was a pit bull, but I do not love her any less.

"All my dogs are obedient and she listens very well – I guess she knows I'm the pack leader."

Sgt Steve Glynn, a police dog handler, who had visited Ms Lynch's home to assess Tia, said officers did not have concerns about either the dog or her owner who had already complied with some of the registration requirements.

"Tia was understandably a little nervous when faced with strangers in her home but the set-up of the home was good," he said. "It''s a stable house with a secure garden so the surroundings are more than suitable.

"Tia was a very friendly and playful dog and we could not anything negative about either the dog of the home. The dog gets a lot of exercise and Ms Lynch has already brought a muzzle."

Ms Lynch, who was said to also own two bull terriers and a staffordshire cross as well as Tia, said: "I know pit bull terriers have a bad name but I'm absolutely sure I will stick by the guidelines."

Magistrates agreed to the application to register the dog provided such requirements were met within a two-month period.