A FAMILY are feeling 'positive' after being told the investigation into their dog has been re-opened.

Natasha Butterfield was ordered by Oxford City Council to re-home Benson, by Sunday December 2, after an incident with a neighbours cat.

She appealed the decision but was told last week that it had been rejected.

It has now been all change, and Ms Butterfield said: "It's now looking positive.

"They said they will re-open the investigation, speak to the eye-witness and come and meet Benson.

"I'm trying not to get my hopes up."

The city council wrote in the first letter, explaining the decision against her appeal had been made, that it was 'not taken lightly'.

It came after her neighbour claimed that Benson the Shar Pei had killed her kitten.

Ms Butterfield, who lives in her Marston home with her three dogs, four children aged 14, nine, six and two, and her two cats explained that the cat had died about five weeks ago after falling off the fence in heavy rain and being chased by the 'playful' dogs.

Neighbours told the Oxford Mail that Lucy the Labrador, Benson the Shar Pei and Daisy the Cocker Spaniel are 'as soft as they come' and also urged the council to 'come and visit'.

A member of the council was expected to go to Ms Butterfield's family home yesterday to check if the dog had been re-homed.

But instead, yesterday, the same council representative told her that the council will now visit her home and see the dog.

The 32-year-old said: “I hope Benson gets the outcome he deserves. He’s not done anything wrong, he is lovely dog and its not fair.”

In her first appeal, she pleaded with the council saying she would do 'anything' they ask of her to avoid re-homing her pets, like muzzling Benson and keeping him on a lead outside.

The tenancy manager explained in the decision letter: "Oxford City Council does not take the decision to ask a tenant to re-home their dog lightly as we appreciate the affection held for the animal.

"We do however have a duty to ensure the safety of the residents and animals in your community. I have to advise you that I cannot uphold your appeal."

The appeal was sent alongside advice on the Shar Pei breed from yourpurebreedpuppy.com, which explained that some are aggressive with other dogs, and some are predatory with cats.

Ms Butterfield said: “The cat was chased by all three of my dogs. I just let them out and they all chased it, I don't know why Benson is getting picked on.

"Why are they discriminating because of his breed."

Oxford City Council did not wish to comment.

The Oxford Mail also reached out to the owner of the kitten.