Bridlington pet owner prosecuted after failing to seek vet aid for skinny greyhound suffering with a tumour
Benjamin Joseph Johnson, of Gypsey Road, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the nine-year-old dog under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and appeared for sentencing at Beverley Magistrates’ Court.
All the dog’s bones were visible and when she was examined at the vets later she was found to be suffering from a thyroid tumour, a condition which can lead to extreme weight loss if left untreated.
In a statement presented to the court, RSPCA inspector Mitchell said: “All the bones on the dog were visible, she looked like a walking skeleton and I was immediately concerned.”
The inspector tried to persuade the defendant to let her take the dog to a vets, but she said that he became obstructive and asked for “notice”.
She added: “He said ‘I’ve chucked the dog over the fence, it’s gone, it’ll come back when it wants’.”
Johnson refused to say where the dog was, but after his mother arrived at the property, he agreed that the animal should be taken to the vets the next day.
The veterinary surgeon said Jess was “severely underweight” and scored her one out of nine on a body count score, while noting she had lost around half of her weight since she was last seen in 2018.
There was a large mass to the side of the dog’s throat and the vet decided the kindest thing to do was to put the dog to sleep to end her suffering.
In mitigation, the court was told that Johnson suffered from anxiety and depression, while he had significant debts.
He was banned from keeping animals for five years and handed a 12-week prison sentence, which the magistrates suspended for 18 months.
He also has to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation activity days, while paying a victim surcharge of £156 and costs of £144.