Father Bob Maguire leads strong turnout for candlelight vigil for death row dog Mylo , Melbourne Australia

MORE than 100 people, including well-known Melbourne priest Father Bob Maguire, gathered in Sunshine last night to attend a candlelight vigil for a dog which Brimbank Council has put on death row.

Children, adults and canine pets gathered outside the council’s meeting chambers bearing signs and balloons printed with the slogan ‘Free Mylo’.

Mylo was captured by a Brimbank Council officer in May 2012 when he escaped from his owner’s Sunshine West home.

He was deemed to be a restricted dog breed and would have been killed, but his family launched legal action in a bid to stop Mylo from being destroyed.

DEATH ROW ORDER OVERTURNED

Since then the Supreme Court has twice overruled a VCAT decision in favour of the council’s view that Myo should be killed.

Mylo’s fate now lies in the hands of the Victorian Governor in Council, who has been asked to grant Mylo an exemption from restricted breed provisions.

Mylo has been kept at the Lost Dogs Home in North Melbourne ever since his capture.

His owners — Jessica Gray and her 13-year-old daughter Brodie — have obtained DNA results which they said showed Mylo is an American Staffordshire terrier cross, not a pit bull.

 

Mother and daughter Sharyn Gray and Jessica Gray outside the Supreme Court earlier this y

Mother and daughter Sharyn Gray and Jessica Gray outside the Supreme Court earlier this year. Picture Ian Currie.

Last night, Ms Gray told Leader her family has been allowed to visit Mylo for 30 minutes a week at the Lost Dogs Home since he was locked up two years ago.

 She said Brodie had to stop visiting Mylo for a short period, because she would became upset when he tried to follow them out of the Lost Dogs Home.

“It really broke her heart,” Ms Gray said.

“I get that upset and angry that I just cry. It’s very, very hard, but I’ll do it for my daughter and for Mylo.”

Their pro-bono solicitor Alysha Tuziak from K&L Gates said she organised the vigil to raise awareness of Mylo’s plight.

Also during the vigil, Father Bob said a prayer for Mylo.

“This is a rescue campaign of an innocent animal,” he said.

“I reckon Mylo looks like a beautiful dog.”

Dog behavioural expert Jean-Claude Bertoni, who has assessed Mylo’s temperament for court cases, also spoke.

Mr Bertoni said Mylo was gentle enough to become a therapy dog in hospitals.

“Everything I saw in him said, ‘I’m placid, I’m gentle, I’m friendly’,” he said.

“If this amazing dog does not get released it’s a travesty because he is one of the most amazing animals you will ever meet.”

 

The Save Mylo Facebook page Picture: Supplied/Facebook

The Save Mylo Facebook page Picture: Supplied/Facebook

Glenroy residents Helen Rosa and Pamela Smith said they came to the vigil to show support for Mylo.

 “I feel it’s a huge injustice when a dog who hasn’t bit anyone, or shown any aggression, is locked up for two years,” Ms Rosa said.

Young vigil attendee Elise, aged seven, made a sign for the event which said ‘Let Mylo go home — he is innocent’.

“I don’t want Mylo to die because he is a special dog,” she said.

Afterwards the Brimbank Council administrator’s chairman John Watson said he could not comment too much on the case, but he read out a statement which said: “Mylo was not registered, not micro chipped, not desexed and matched the State Government standard for a restricted breed dog (when he was seized in 2012).

“At all times Brimbank City Council has acted responsibly and in accordance with the law.

“Under the law Brimbank City Council cannot return or rehouse Mylo.”

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