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Animal ban for man who failed to groom his dog for 19 months

Animal ban for man who failed to groom his dog for 19 months

A man who let his pet dog become so heavily matted that he was carrying an extra 21% of his body weight has been handed a five-year animal ban and 12-month community order after a successful investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA. 

Tim Ronald Springett, Ramsgate pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences at Margate Magistrates Court on 22 January.

Russian Terrier Barney was seized by Kent Police's Rural Task Force and handed over to the RSPCA after the animal welfare charity made several attempts to encourage Springett to have the dog groomed and properly cared for. Springett told RSPCA inspectors that Barney hadn't been groomed for 19 months and believed he did not need clipping due to his breed. 

In her witness statement, investigating RSPCA Inspector Tina Nash said Barney was: "Extremely matted, with big clumps of fur hanging off of him that appeared to be full of dirt or faeces and tightly bound to areas around his back. The dog didn't smell very nice and made me want to wretch.

"The environment was very untidy with lots of stuff everywhere and very dirty. I went into the back garden which was covered in faeces and very dirty. There were no dry areas for the dog."

Barney was taken to a vet where he had 7.8kg of fur shaved from his body. The vet said: "The dog had been made to support a coat weighing approximately 21% of his body weight as he moved around. The weight of this coat would have risen considerably when the dog was wet. I'm in no doubt that this would cause the animal physical stress as he moved. It's my professional opinion, based on the information provided to me, that the person responsible for the care of the dog had failed to provide the dog with a sheltered sleeping area with bedding. 

"The person had also failed to groom the dog over many months and, as a consequence, had left him in a position where he was likely to suffer."

Barney has undergone an amazing transformation under the care of the RSPCA and is now in private boarding, and he will be made available for rehoming.

In mitigation, Springett said he had been unwell and his ill-health was behind the issues. He said he loves dogs, and has worked with them in the past.

As well as the 12 month community order including 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days, Springett was ordered to pay £400 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge and was disqualified from keeping all animals for five years.