RSPCA Prosecutes Hull Owner Who Failed To Get Vet Treatment For Sick Dog

A pet owner who failed to get medical help for his gravely ill dog has been prosecuted by the RSPCA.

Kali Thorneycroft of Egton Street, Hull, pleaded guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 of causing unnecessary suffering to black and tan German Shepherd cross Arize by failing to provide veterinary care and was sentenced at Hull Magistrates’ Court on October 17. 

The court heard how the defendant delayed seeking veterinary treatment and when he did attend a PDSA clinic he ignored advice that the canine was so poorly that the kindest course of action was to put her to sleep. It meant Arize, who was suffering with a number of tumours, including a malignant growth to her neck which had spread to her lungs, was left to suffer unnecessarily for another three weeks.

Thorneycroft took the dog to see a PDSA vet on September 7 and 8 in 2021, but at the second consultation, Arize could not stand. She was underweight with a body score condition of 2/9 and the vet felt a long lump on her neck. The vet told the defendant he should seek a second opinion at another vets if he didn’t agree with her recommendation and if that didn’t happen he would be reported to the RSPCA.

RSPCA inspector Natalie Hill visited the defendant’s home several times to check on the dog’s welfare and on September 30 she attended with a council environmental officer. 

In her statement, inspector Hill said: “Arize was extremely underweight and during our time in the house she only stood for around three to four minutes. She had sunken eyes and her head was concave, she also had a large amount of mucus coming from her nose.”

The defendant told the inspector he believed Arize’s condition was improving.

The inspector took Arize to a Hull-based vets where it was observed her weight had dropped by 3.5 kg since she was weighed at the PDSA. The vet said the dog would have been suffering from chronic illness for around two months and decided, sadly, she would have to be put to sleep.

“I would have expected a reasonable owner to seek appropriate and prompt veterinary treatment and to follow the advice,” said the vet. “It was my clinical judgement that Arize’s poor condition was causing her to suffer, resulting in a severely diminished quality of life, and that investigation and treatment of disease would not be able to recover her to a condition conducive to an acceptable quality of life.”

In mitigation, the defendant said he contacted the PDSA a number of months before he presented the dog at the clinic and claimed he was unable to see a vet because of the coronavirus pandemic. He said he did not have the funds for a private consultation for a second opinion and was clinging onto the hope the dog would get better because of the strong bond he had with her.

The magistrates fined him £200 and ordered he pay costs of £200 and a victim surcharge of £34.

They said they had considered imposing a disqualification, but because of the length of time that had elapsed and the fact there had been no issues with the care of his other dogs over the last two years, that a financial penalty was sufficient.

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