A COUNCIL tenant could be left living on the streets because he refuses to give up his pet dog.

When Anthony Cotter’s last dog Scrappy died in 2008, he got permission from Oxford City Council to have a dog from Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, provided it did not annoy or intimidate neighbours.

But now the council has said Charlie, a doberman-German Shepherd cross, is too large for Mr Cotter’s first-floor flat. It wants him to swap the dog for a smaller breed.

Mr Cotter, of Riverside Court, Oxford, has been sent a repossession order for the flat, after other residents claimed it barked too much.

The 41-year-old said he would be suicidal without 18-month-old Charlie, and is refusing to send him back to a kennel.

He said: “My doctor has written to the council saying I have mental health issues that would get worse if I get rid of the dog.

“I have lived here for seven years, but four months ago the council started to complain about him.

“They are saying he is barking constantly, which is complete rubbish.

“If someone comes to the door he barks for 10 seconds, and then shuts up.

“Charlie has not done anything wrong. I will not give him up because it would be unfair on him.

“When I got him from Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, I was told that he had been mistreated by children at his last home.

“He had been in kennels for four months before I fell in love with him, and I would not want to send him back to that.”

Mr Cotter said losing the dog would leave him a “total zombie”.

He said: “Charlie keeps me going.

“I know that if I get evicted I will be out on the streets, totally homeless. It would be a nightmare.”

Oxford City Council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “We gave this tenant permission to have a dog which was suitable for the property.

“This would have been a small or medium-sized dog. However, the tenant decided to get a large dog which has caused problems for his neighbours.

“He was asked to exchange the dog for a smaller, more manageable breed, but refused.”

She added: “We received a lot of complaints about the dog barking and fouling in the communal areas and, after the tenant refused to take any action, we were left in the position of having to serve a notice on his property.

“This means we could apply to the County Court for possession of the property.”

Neighbours of Mr Cotter approached by the Oxford Mail said they were not aware of the issue.