Duo given pet bans after abusing dog at East Coast holiday park

Two cousins have been banned from keeping dogs for a total of 25 years after they repeatedly slapped, punched and kicked a dog in front of shocked holidaymakers at a caravan park near Bridlington.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 3:15 pm
Liam Tattershall and Luke Harrison, both from Hull, were seen to attack Staffordshire Bull Terrier Patchy on multiple occasions. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA

Liam Tattershall and Luke Harrison, both from Hull, were seen to attack the Staffordshire Bull Terrier dog called Patchy on multiple occasions in September 2020 at Skipsea Sands Caravan Park.

Three witnesses each saw the terrified pet being abused by the pair and reported the matter to the RSPCA, Beverley Magistrates’ Court heard.

Tattershall pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Patchy and was given a 10-year ban on keeping dogs while Harrison was found guilty in his absence and received a 15-year ban.

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One witness told how on Monday, September 21, as they arrived at the campsite, she saw Harrison punch Patchy – who was tethered – three times causing him to cower to the ground.

Later that day he was again seen to approach the dog and hit him forcefully on its head three times, causing the dog to yelp on each occasion.

The following day the witness told how she saw Tattershall hit Patchy while he was tied up on the head twice.

He then kicked the dog with force in the ribs.

The dog was yelping each time he was hit.

On Wednesday the witness saw shadows in the tent and could make out Harrison kicking the dog with force.

She could hear thuds and yelps and could see the shadow of his foot making contact with the dog while he was shouting at the pet. The witness confronted them and alerted security staff.

In a statement, the witness said the pair defended their actions by saying that Patchy had been misbehaving and had defecated in the tent so Harrsion said he had “battered it”.

The witness offered to take the dog into care but the pair refused.

Two other holidaymakers reported seeing similar attacks on the dog – and that both men were constantly telling Patchy to ‘lie down’ and if he didn’t they would attack him.

The dog appeared to be cowering and fearful whenever they approached him, they reported.

The incidents were reported to the RSPCA and animal rescuer inspector Jilly Dickinson was sent to the holiday park to investigate along with police who seized Patchy, aged 5.

Jilly said: “Patchy was seen to be forcefully hit, punched and kicked on numerous occasions.

“Ths would have caused physical pain, fear and distress which is evidenced in his behaviour.

“He was seen yelping and crying, crouching and cowering every time he was intimidated – physically or verbally.

“He has been in our care since he was seized and is such a lovely friendly dog, he looks so smiley and happy now in spite of what he has been through.

“I am so pleased he is doing so well and he will be ready to find his forever home soon.”

As well as a 15-year ban on keeping dogs, Harrison was given a 12-week jail sentence suspended for 18 months, was ordered to carry out a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 80 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £750 costs.

Tattershall was given a 12-week jail sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 60 hours of unpaid work as well as £400 costs.

In mitigation the court was told that Tattershall should be given credit for his guilty plea and that Harrison’s behaviour had been uncharacteristic and he hoped to own dogs in the future.