A man from Tyne and Wear has been jailed for 10 weeks after failing to seek vet treatment for his dog. Babe, a two-year-old bulldog, had been badly injured to her head, neck and legs after a fight with another dog – and was left with a gaping wound to her ear that went untreated.
Former owner Kevin Turner was also handed a 10-year ban from keeping all animals following a prosecution by the RSPCA.
RSPCA inspectors Terri-Ann Fannon and Helen Nedley paid a visit to Turner’s former home at Collingwood Road in North Shields in April this year. He had previously spoken to inspector Nedley by phone, explaining that Babe was injured in a fight with another dog he owned.
He’d added that he had cleaned the wounds, and that he’d take her to a vet if there were concerns. However, during their visit, Nedley and Fannon saw that dog was in dire need of treatment.
“It was dark so I placed my hand under her neck to lift her head up to try and see how bad the wound was and when I lifted her head puss and discharge squirted from the wound and was dripping to the floor – the wound stunk of infection,” said Deputy Chief Inspector Fannon.
As well as the injuries to her face, neck and legs, Babe was also suffering from sore skin on her stomach and the pads of her feet. Turner claimed he was registered with vet charity PDSA and had been planning to take the dog to see the charity’s vets the following day, but the PDSA had no record of him.
A vet said in her report, “The extent of matted hair and inflamed skin indicated the wounds had been discharging and infection developing for days with insufficient treatment.
“A reasonable person would have noticed the deteriorating state of the wounds, recognised that rinsing the wounds at home was insufficient and sought appropriate veterinary care. If Babe had not been brought in when she was then her ear would have gone necrotic and fallen off and she may even have died of septicemia.”
Babe’s damaged ear was reconstructed during surgery and she has since made a remarkable recovery. She remains in RSPCA care and will be rehomed soon. In addition to the jail term and the ban on keeping animals, Turner was ordered to pay of £360 costs against as well as a victim surcharge of £154. His other dog was also seized.
Speaking after the sentencing, DCI Fannon said, “Babe’s injuries were among some of the worst I’ve seen from a dog attack and the infection she suffered was horrendous. But she has done so well at RSPCA Felledge Animal Centre, where she has made some new doggy friends.
“She was a bit anxious and nervous at first, but has turned out to be a lovely boisterous girl. She was so depressed when I first met her, but she’s like a different dog now, full of mischief and wanting treats and attention.”