Animal ban for man caught on camera beating dog

A man from Preston has been disqualified from keeping animals for four years after being caught on camera beating a dog.

John Chris Joshua Bunting of Garstang Road North, Wesham appeared before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court earlier this week. He pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to Disco under the Animal Welfare Act on Monday (10 June) and was sentenced.

The RSPCA was called by police on 8 September last year after they had arrested Buntin, seized Disco and took him to a vet practice.

RSPCA Inspector Alison Fletcher said: “I met Disco before I saw the footage, which is distressing to watch. He was brought into the room by a make vet and he was extremely frightened. He had no obvious injuries, but it was impossible to touch him without causing him distress.

“When I attempted to pick him up to place him in the kennel at the rear of my van and take him to the animal centre he went into blind panic. I did eventually manage to coax him inside after around 20 minutes of sitting with him and calmly reassuring him.”

In the first of three video clips Bunting can be seen entering the rear garden of a property on Garstang Road North, Wesham and walk over a grassed area partially out of view. A dog can be heard to cry out. He then appears at the corner of the house holding Disco in his left hand, by the scruff of the neck.

He strikes the dog with his right hand a number of times while carrying him into the house. Disco can be heard to cry out again a number of times.

A second clip shows shadowy figures behind the frosted glass of the rea house door. Noises consistent with a slap and a dog vocalising can be heard. The door opens, a man’s voice can be heard to shout “Get out” and Disco runs out into the garden followed by Bunting.

The dog runs into the grassy area and sits down with his back to the garden wall and facing the house. The dog remains in the garden and Bunting returns back into the house.

A third clip shows Bunting standing over Disco before picking him up by the neck. Bunting carries Disco over to a brick-built outhouse within which the dog is placed. Bunting picks up a long piece of polystyrene and repeatedly hits something inside the outhouse. It is not clear whether he is striking Disco, though this was admitted by Bunting in interview.

The court heard that Bunting handled Disco in the manner seen in the footage because Disco wouldn’t go to the toilet and would sit on the grass and not want to come in, then when he came back into the house he would urinate and defecate there. He said that he was trying to move Disco from behind the door to mop the floor.

Veterinary opinion was that it was likely that Disco had been subjected to shouting or violence when urinating and defecating, which caused him to become anxious when performing these bodily functions. It continued that this had lead to him associating the garden with a place in which he experienced anxiety. In a similar way, when Disco urinated or defecated in the house and he was punished, there would be an association with an unpleasant experience in the house.

“This poor dog was in turmoil, caused to suffer physically and mentally,” said Inspector Fletcher.

“It has taken a great deal of love, patience and training from the wonderful staff caring for him at RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk and District Branch Animal Centre, but I saw him today and he’s like a different dog.

“I’m very happy to say that he’ll be looking for a new home soon.”

As well as being disqualified, Bunting was sentenced to an 18-month community order, 15 rehabilitation action requirement days, 300 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay £500 costs and £85 victim surcharge.





Tips for Bring your Dog to Work Day

With studies showing that pets can reduce a person’s stress levels in the workplace and help to boost productivity and job satisfaction, dogs might be a man or woman’s best co-worker.

As 21st June marks Bring your Dog to Work Day, Natures Menu – the raw and natural pet food experts – provides its top tips on how to make taking your dog into the office a ‘pawsitive’ success.

It can be tempting to get excited at the thought of bringing your furry friend to the office, but it is important to ensure you think about the practicalities.

  1. While office life isn’t suitable for every dog, it can be a perk if you can make it work for both your pooch and employer. Before deciding to take your dog to work, make sure you consider whether he or she is able to do the following: settle in a strange environment; be welcoming to strangers whilst not being a distraction from normal work duties; be left alone whilst you take comfort breaks: be able to accept other, strange dogs in the same area. If your dog is used to being in a crate during the day, you’ll also have to consider whether you implement this in your working environment.
  2. If you’ve decided to take your dog to work, pull together a few items such as a water bowl; poo bags; treats and snacks; a comfortable and familiar bed; favourite toys, a lead suitable to secure to a desk or chair and a towel should you get caught in rain on your daily commute. Also, make sure you bring some cleaning supplies to take care of possible accidents. And finally – introduce your four-legged friend to everyone (unless an individual expressly opts out!).
  3. Consider if it is suitable to take your dog to work. Will a dog interfere with your normal work duties and will other staff members find your furry friend a distraction? There will be an adjustment period, especially when there are multiple dogs in the office. Remember that some people will find it hard to work near dogs who are barking or playing with noisy toys. Find out whether your colleagues are canine-comfortable and identify which workers are afraid of canines or allergic and then keep your dog at a safe distance.
  4. Exercise your dog before work to help ensure they settle quickly by your desk when you enter the office. It is also worth considering whether you can provide adequate comfort breaks throughout the day for your pooch and don’t forget walkies. Not only is exercise beneficial for your dog, the walk will also help with your state of mind and productivity for the rest of the day.
  5. Watch out for signs of stress and remove your pet from the situation if you notice excessive panting; licking of lips; cowering; barking; whining or trying to hide. These all indicate that your dog is suffering from stress, which can impact your pet’s health.

Melanie Sainsbury, Veterinary Education Manager for Natures Menu, said: “These days, dogs are increasingly becoming a part of office culture and having them in the workplace can be a fantastic treat. Having your dog in the office is good for the work atmosphere and, as studies have shown, not only does your cortisol level drop when your stroke a dog, you also produce more of the hormone oxytocin, which makes you feel relaxed and happy. The day is a lot of fun for all involved!

“While Bring Your Dog to Work Day is just one day, some dogs go to work every day. Here at Natures Menu we have many sponsored dogs such as Nuka, who is the UK’s first registered assistance Alaskan Malamute dog in the UK; Romeo, the blood donation dog; Tiga and Yogi, who reunite missing pets with their owners; and Scout, the Pets as Therapy’ dog. All of these pooches go to work every day to make a real difference!”

Two North East school first in UK to receive PDSA PetWise status

Two school in the North East have been busy battling to become the UK’s first PDSA ‘PetWise’ school.

The vet charity launched the award last year, designed to teach the next generation of pet owners about caring for pets.

Morpeth All Saints CofE Aided First School in Northumberland and Benton Dene Special School in Newcastle were among the first schools to sign up to PDSA’s ‘PetWise’ in schools’ programme, which launched in late 2018.

They dedicated time each week to complete their modules, working their way up through the four-easy-to-follow levels. Both schools have now gained their full ‘PetWise’ status in record time.

Alisa Jones, PDSA’s Group Head of Veterinary Services, presented both schools with their special glass plaques. Alisa said: “Our PetWise for Schools award is designed to be a curriculum-linked programme.

“It teaches primary-aged children about pets’ welfare needs in a fun and engaging way. And thanks to support from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery to develop the award, it’s free for any primary schools, home schools or uniform groups to sign up to.”

One hundred and seventy-four school and groups have now signed up for the awards, reaching more than 35,000 children. The two schools in the North East are the first in the UK to complete the full programme.

Rachel Rush, a teacher at Benton Dene Special School, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our children. The award was engaging and interesting at every point and everything you needed to deliver the sessions was all there, from curriculum-linked planning sheets to PowerPoint slides. Our pupils are looking forward to sharing their newly-gained knowledge with others. Thank you PDSA for an amazing award.”

The PDSA PetWise Schools award is part of the charity’s community and education programme, and was developed thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

For more information and to sign up to the programme you can visit



Fish4Dogs sponsors top dog Herman

Fish4Dogs provided a vital ingredient for border Collie Herman who claimed top spot at the Norwegian National Championship.

Herman and his owner Hege Johnson, who have been sponsored by Fish4Dogs since 2016, took the top spot in obedience, along with the converted Royal Trophy.

This was the first year that the Royal Trophy has been given to the winner of the obedience category – Hege and Herman previously won the National Championship in 2017 but this is the first time that they have been presented with the Royal award.

The event, which was in Sandjford was held at the same time at the Norwegian Kennel Club Dog Show.  Hege has competed for many years and has made her name as a professional dog trainer.

To qualify for the National Championship, Herman, aged seven, had to win three obedience events. The qualification rounds drew 39 competitors. Which Hege and Herman won by a strong margin.

Stine Digranes Nilsen, Sales and Marketing Manager for Fish4Dogs in Norway, said that she was delighted for the sponsored pairing.

She said: “We are so pleased by their success. Herman is a lovely dog whose vitality and condition speaks volumes for the nutritional benefits of a fish-based diet. Fish4Dogs has been a vital ingredient in his training, which he demonstrated superbly at the National Championships and we wish them continued success for the future.”

For more information on Fish4Dogs you can visit

HiLife unveils new packaging design for its natural cat and dog food range

Popular pet food brand, HiLife has unveiled a new look design for their popular 100% natural cat and dog food range.

The brand-new look includes new designs for the pouches, boxes and bags in the range, while reassuring pet owners that their four-legged friends can still enjoy the same great taste.

Featuring beautiful illustrations, rather than photography, the new HiLife it’s only natural packaging depicts a playful brown and white dog and a cute black cat, framed by a flutter of tonal leaves.

Highlighting the range’s all-natural recipes, the new look also showcases key ingredients and the percentage of meat or fish is proudly displayed on the front of each pack.

Designed to catch the eye whilst clearly sharing the recipe content, the distinctive design aims to stand out from the other brands on the shelf. A new look, but the same great taste.

Owned by Town and Country Petfoods, the company developed the HiLife it’s only natural range using 100% natural ingredients such as meat, fish and garden vegetables.

Produced with the health-conscious pet owners in mind, each of the hand-prepared dishes contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives – meeting the growing demand for natural pet food made with high quality ingredients and attention to provenance.

Tony Parkinson, Managing Director at HiLife, said: “For the 9 million dogs and 7.5 million cats in the UK, owners only want the best food for their pets, scrutinising food quality more closely than ever before.

“With a growing group of pet owners now looking for the same level of quality in pet food as the food they feed themselves, it was important that the new packing for our HiLife it’s only natural range clearly shows what pet owners can expect. We also want to offer our customers packaging that not only stands out in the shops but looks great stacked in their kitchen cupboards too.”

The HiLife it’s only natural range for cats and dogs is available now in independent pet stores, supermarkets and online. For more information and to find your nearest stockists, you can visit



Dogs Trust Bridgend play host to fourteen Collies

Dogs Trust Bridgend is appealing for forever homes for lots of Collies as they see an influx of this loveable breed.

Three-year old Khaleesi

The fabulous fourteen range from longer stay resident, two-year old Whiskey, to nine-week old pup Lotus Blossom and her six littermates.

Whilst the pups have now all found loving homes, the rest are eager to meet their special someone. They are all different in their temperaments and personalities, but they have all one thing in common; they would all make a perfect companion in the right home.

The current Collie residents at Dogs Trust Bridgend include:

Khalessi – a three-year old pooch who hasn’t had much socialisation in her early life so can be a little shy when it comes to meeting new people. She will need to live with another dog already in the home as she gains her confidence with another four-legged friend around.

She is looking for a quiet home in a rural area away from lots of notice with an adult only family who are prepared to make a few visits to the centre to build up a relationship. With time and patience her character will start to shine through.

Percy – three-year old Percy is a timid girl who is looking for a forever family that can help her see that the world isn’t so scary. She will need to be the only dog in a adult-only home so she can build up a strong bond with her new owners.

She is a bright girl and has started to trust the canine carers who look after her. Her new owners will need to give her time to settle, but with patience, she will be a lovely companion.


Whiskey – bright lad Whiskey is two-years old and despite being shy initially, he is full of energy so is looking for a family that can keep up with him. Whiskey enjoys playing with other dogs and must live another dog already in the home as this helps with his confidence. Whiskey loves off-lead exercise and would enjoy an active family who like getting out and about.

As well as lots of exercise, he’d need lots of brain games to keep his Collie mind stimulated so he doesn’t get bored. He’s always up for an adventure and will happily travel in the car to explore new areas.

Angela Wetherall, Dogs Trust Bridgend Rehoming Centre Manager, said: “We have a number of Collie crosses all very excited to find a home to call their own and they would make superb companions for a family of experienced dog owners.

“Sadly, we do see many of these types of dogs coming into us for a variety of reasons and sometimes they are handed in when they become too much for their owners who have not considered the implications of owning a breed that requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation.

“They need regular exercise and mental stimulation, so it is important that we find owners who understand the demands of this breed and are in a position to offer a life-long commitment.”

If you are interested in offering any Dog Trust Bridgend residents a loving home, please call the rehoming centre on 0300 303 0292 or visit








Mayhew saves stray can with necrotic abscess

Animal welfare offices from Mayhew were shocked when they were called out to help a stray cat with a terrible looking head wound.

When the welfare officers found him, four-year old stray cat Augustus, had a wound the size of a golf ball on his forehead, which was discharging foul-smelling pus.

The wound was a ruptured abscess that Mayhew staff believe had originated from an infected cat bite, which is a common occurrence in un-neutered cats.

The tissue surrounding the abscess had become necrotic, and his eye was half shut from the swelling and discharge.

Because Augustus was a stray, the original wound hadn’t received any care of attention. Cats’ claws and teeth are covered in bacteria, and so if they bite or scratch another cat, it’s very likely that bacteria contagion will spread.

A spokesperson for Mayhew commented: “Augustus’ bite had quickly turned into an abscess, which, left untreated for much longer would continue to make him feel extremely ill and affect his ability to survive on his own.

“Unfortunately, such wounds are common in stray and feral cat colonies, where unneutered and unvaccinated felines will fight and attack each other to assert dominance and mark out territory. Stray cats are generally solitary by instinct and will also lash out in defence if they feel themselves or the areas they call ‘home’ are being threatened.”

Luckily the Mayhew animal welfare officers were able to take Augustus straight for treatment at their Community Vet Clinic.

The poorly cat was distressed and in paid when he arrived and suffering from mild dehydration. To make him comfortable, vet Steph Panayiotou prescribed a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and pain relief.

The spokesperson added: “Steph gently bathed and flushed the abscess while Augustus was anaesthetised to remove the worst of the necrosis and pus. With Augustus and the abscess improving every day now that he was receiving medication, Steph did a final clean of the wound and removed the surrounding dead tissue a week later, once again putting Augustus under general aesthetic.

“He was also neutered, microchipped and tested for FIV/FeLV while he was asleep, and was happily negative for both of these viruses. Augustus has responded very well to every stage of his treatment so far. His wound is healing well, and Steph and the rest of our Vet team expect him to make a full recovery.”

The team at Mayhew will continue to monitor Augustus’ condition over the next couple of week, before he is ready to go up for adoption.

Whilst Augustus may be looking forward to finding his forever family, Mayhew vets and Animal Welfare Officers are sadly gearing up to treat more animals just like him.

It costs the team £400 to treat and infected abscess like Augustus’s and Mayhew couldn’t do it without the ongoing help from supporters.

If you would like to donate, to help animals like Augustus, you can test MAYHEWCAT to 70085 and donate just £5 – the money will go straight towards helping animals in need.

To find out more about the work Mayhew do with stray and feral cats in the local community you can visit








Trio of kittens find purrfect place to rest their paws at Dogs Trust

Staff at Dogs Trust Kenilworth couldn’t believe what they were seeing and hearing- as they prepared to take rescue dogs for a lunchtime walk.

Canine carers thought they were going barking mad when amongst the canine chatter of the centre, they heard meowing.

When they went to investigate, they discovered not just one but three tabby kittens ‘litter’ally hiding in the bin area behind the rehoming centre.

The kittens have been named Skip, Dusty and Scrappy by staff at the Kenilworth rehoming centre.

Canine carer at the Dogs Trust rehoming centre, James Sowerby was the first to spot the mysterious moggies, he said: “It was such a tiny sound amidst the excitement of the dog walk, so we almost didn’t hear thm, but we’re so glad we did. Despite all of us being dog experts, we are thrilled we could use our charm on the kittens to coax them out and get them inside to some food and warmth, and cuddles of course.

“We think Skip Dusty and Scrappy are around six weeks old but with no microchips we’ll never know much about their journey to Dogs Trust. They were found on site behind locked gates so it’s unlikely they were abandoned. We think a stray cat has placed them there, but after scouring the grounds we didn’t see any trace of the mum.

“Our expert team cared for them overnight and kept checking to see if mum returned before calling our friends at the local Cats Protection who collected them the next day. We have no doubt that they will find their furry tail ending very soon. They are beautiful. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye out for any more feline friends.”

For more information on Dogs Trust Kenilworth or to rehome one of their not-so-feline residents, you can call 01926 569236 or visit

Battersea’s longest stay resident has spent 600 days looking for a home

Yesterday marked Mongrel Aidan’s 600th day at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, during which he’s seen 3,714 canine friends find families.

Seven-year old Aidan found himself at Battersea’s Old Windsor centre in October 2017, after he was found wandering the streets of Woking alone.

He is currently the charity’s longest staying resident, having been in Battersea’s care for over 17 times longer than the average stay (35 days).

Kaye Mughal, Centre Manager at Battersea Old Windsor said: “Aidan is such an affectionate, soppy boy who loves nothing more than a cuddle on the sofa under a fluffy blanket. It’s heart-breaking that, while 3,714 of his doggy friends have found homes, he’s still waiting to find a family.”

Aidan found life in kennels extremely stressful and so has been enjoying time away at a foster home until a new family can be found for him.

As Aidan was found as a stray, Battersea will never know where he came from or what happened to him before coming into the charity’s care. However, he has shown that he is a very worried and insecure dog in new situations.

Because of this, Aidan is on the lookout for very understanding owners who are willing to take the time to make him as comfortable and confident as possible.

Kaye continued: “Although his confidence has grown since being on foster, he’s still looking for that special someone who is willing to show him some love and understanding. He’s crossing his paws that someone who’s willing to take the time to show him how to become a more confident dog, will come forward.

“Aidan is such a special and unique boy that he’ll need an equally special owner. Although we haven’t found them yet, we know they’re out there somewhere. There is no time limit that a dog can stay in Battersea’s care for, and we will continue to look after Aidan until the perfect home can be found for him.”

If you think that you might be the right person to give Aidan the home that he needs and deserves, you can visit

Hill’s Pet Nutrition introduces stews to Prescription Diet range

Hill’s Pet Nutrition has introduced a selection of tasty stews to its existing Prescription Diet range.

The new range, recommended by vets is designed to help alleviate and manage specific health conditions, including urinary, kidney, digestive, skin, mobility and weight concerns.

The new range works like a prescription diet and tastes like stew, available in chicken, tuna, and containing real vegetables and rice to provide additional nutrients that pets need.

The irresistible taste ensures pets come back for more while the rich aroma stimulates their appetite, drawing them to the bowl.

Hill’s believe that proper nutrition has the power to help support health and wellbeing, which is why the latest scientific research and clinical expertise is used to develop foods that address a range of health issues.

Prescription Diet Stews offer great benefits across the range including:

Urinary care – clinically proven to help dissolve struvite uroliths in pets

Derm Defense – supports skin health and protects the skin barrier from environmental allergens

Digestive care – for the nutritional management of pets with gastrointestinal disorders and pets in recovery

Metabolic – metabolic is a breakthrough weight management diet for pets that is clinically proven to safely support weight loss and maintenance

Kidney care – clinically proven to support a longer and better quality of life in pets with kidney conditions.

For more information, benefits and the full product range, you can visit