A man is sentenced to sixteen weeks in prison and disqualified from keeping animals for life after an American Bulldog was found beaten and bloody.
Gary David Bell from Keighley, West Yorkshire was convicted of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act, in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA. He was sentenced at Bradford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 9 January.
At a trial on 3 December, he was convicted of causing suffering to female American Bulldog, Smiler by inflicting trauma to her, failing to provide veterinary attention for her injuries, applying cleaning product to her head and eyes.
Bell was due to attend court on Tuesday 7 January but failed to appear and was arrested on warrant.
RSPCA inspector, Sarah Bagley, said: “I went to Bell’s home with police after having a couple of dealings with him about his dog Smiler, who had a condition called cherry eye, and becoming increasingly concerned about her.
“Initially there was no reply, then myself and one of the police officers heard heavy breathing through the ground floor bathroom window. I was horrified to see Smiler in the bath with a bloodied tea towel on her head.
“A friend of Bell’s let us into the property, and we found Smiler barely conscious. She and the bath were wet and there was a bottle of human shampoo and Flash household cleaner, which appeared to have been used on her. Between us, we were able to get her out of the flat and I rushed her straight to a local vet practice.
“By the time I got her there her eyes were swollen shut. She was found to have multiple injuries including two large wounds on the top of her head, which needed to be stitched, bruising to the head and a loose tooth that needed to be removed. Her eyes were flushed to get rid of any cleaning product.”
A veterinary examination ruled that the injuries were not accidental and attempts to clean Smiler afterwards would have caused pain and suffering.
Smiler spent a week under treatment and supervision at the vets during which time she slowly started to physically recover. As well as being jailed for 16 weeks and disqualified from keeping all animals for life, Bell deprived of Smiler and ordered to pay £121 victim surcharge.
Sarah added: “Bell didn’t offer any plausible explanation for Smiler’s predicament – in an interview he said that she had probably cut her head on barbed wire during a walk in the woods. She is recovering well, gaining weight, her skin and coat are improving, and she seems to be a much brighter, happier dog. The cherry eye is being monitored on vet advice at the moment.
“Smiler is currently being cared for by the great staff at RSPCA Sheffield where everyone absolutely loves her, and she will be put up for adoption soon. She is a very sweet dog who loves people and I can’t wait to hear that she’s thriving in a loving new home.”