08:00 Thursday 12 December 2013

Owner forced to give up dog after 'neglect' case


A DOG owner has been ordered to surrender his pet Staffordshire bull terrier to an animal charity after it was left alone for days at a time in a rented house and was forced to resort to drinking from a toilet to survive.

RSPCA inspectors were called in after neighbours complained about repeated barking at a house in The Cuttings, Hartshorne.

The premises were found to be filthy during the visit and two dogs were spotted inside.

Jobless Scott Flowerdew told the RSPCA the dogs ‘had access to water via the toilet’ during a case at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.

John Sutcliffe, prosecuting, said: “Neighbours said he would return every three days, staying for no more than 15 or 20 minutes.

“Dogs can be distressed when left for a period of time.

“They should be in a clean, safe environment.

“A dog should be able to reach food and water easily in all situations.

“Dogs should be exercised regularly.

“It was apparent he was doing none of these things.”

The 33-year-old was handed a 12-week curfew and 100 hours community work as a result of his actions.

He admitted failing to provide a suitable hygienic environment for dogs on August 2, leaving dogs unattended and two similar charges on August 14.

He was banned for five years from keeping dogs and must pay £500 costs with a £60 government surcharge.

Judge Joanne Alderson said: “This is an extremely unpleasant case of neglect.

“You are not a fit and proper person to have care and control of a dog.”

She ordered him to sign over ownership of the Staffordshire bull terrier to the RSPCA.

Stephen Cooper, defending, said: “It is a punishment to him to have to give it up.

“It has been his dog for 13 year,s and for 12 and a half years, there has been no problem with it.

“It will break his heart but he has accepted it is something he will have to do.”

At one point, Flowerdew got a female dog to keep his animal company and ended up with 11 puppies, which he managed to rehome.

He had already handed the female animal to the RSPCA.

At the time of the offences, his partner had undergone gall bladder surgery and Flowerdew was at her home looking after her.

Mr Cooper added: “This is not a case of deliberate maltreatment where dogs are mistreated.

“This is simply neglect brought on by personal circumstances.”

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