A dog has been reprieved after being on death row for more than a year, after a judge spared his life following an outcry from animal lovers and a last-ditch effort to keep the dog alive.

Prada, a four-year-old pit bull mix, was declared vicious and ordered to be put down after escaping from home in January 2011 and attacking several other dogs in Nashville, Tennessee.

The dog's owner, Nicole Andree, a 35-year-old estate agent, launched a social media campaign to save her beloved pet after it was ordered to be put down by three different courts, where attorneys for the city of Nashville argued that the dog posed a threat to public safety.

She also persuaded more than 11,000 people to sign a petition asking the state governor, Bill Haslam, to pardon her pooch.

After Haslam said he that he was not in a position to pardon a dog, Andree begged the judge to spare her pet's life and proposed that Prada be sent to a doggie detention centre.

The Villalobos Rescue Centre in New Orleans features in Animal Planet's reality TV show Pit Bulls and Parolees, which puts ex-convicts and abused dogs together for rehabilitation.

Although Andree has had the dog since she was a four-week-old puppy, she said she did not mind giving up her beloved pet if it meant that Prada would be allowed to live.

"I just wanted her to live," she said, adding that her dog would be in good hands with Tia Torres, who runs the rescue centre.

Davidson County Circuit Court Judge Joe Binkley Jr signed the order sparing Prada after city attorneys said they would not object to the plan to transfer ownership of the dog to Torres, so it could live at the rescue centre.

According to the judge's order, the dog must remain at the rescue centre for the rest of its life.