Owner failed to help leg break dog

A Leyland man could be banned from keeping animals after he was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.

Leyland Magistrates heard how Paul Nash, of Mendip Road, had failed to take his English bull terrier, Harvey to the vets after he broke his leg.

The animal had to be put down after the RSPCA was called in to investigate, and Nash was charged after failing to act.

The 36-year-old pleaded not guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing, but failed to appear before the court on Thursday and was convicted in his absence.

A police warrant has now been issued and he is due back before South Ribble Magistrates’ Court on July 8.

James Hawks for the RSPCA said: “The history of this case is that on January 13, Insp Moira Chisholm, acting on information, attended an address in Leyland.

“She gained access to see an English bull terrier dog called Harvey who had shown signs of significant problems with his back leg.

“When she took the dog for veterinary investigations they undertook X-rays which showed that the dog had a broken leg.”

Mr Hawks said that Insp Chisolm returned to the Mendip Road address with a police officer to seize the dog and interview Nash.

Giving evidence, she said: “I cautioned him for causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and asked Mr Nash if he wanted legal representation, but he declined.

“He told me that Harvey and his other dog Neo had been fighting and he had got between them to separate them, but Harvey had fallen over the edge of a wall and a large plant pot had landed on top of him.

“He carried him back into his flat and said he thought that the leg was bruised. He didn’t think it was broken.

“He told me that he had been massaging it to try and help, but he couldn’t afford to take the dog to the vets and didn’t have a benefits letter to take with him to get free advice.”

Insp Chisholm said Nash, who had been keeping the two-year-old dog in a training cage when she arrived, had been nursing Harvey’s injury for four days before she was called, but veterinary surgeon Catherine Cohen said he would have been in considerable pain.

She told the magistrates: “When Harvey was brought in, it was clear he had suffered an injury to his left hind leg and it was very swollen and bruised.

“I suspected it was broken as he couldn’t put any weight on it, but I couldn’t find the break.

“An X-ray showed that Harvey had broken his tibia and usually in those cases the fibula will be fractured as well.

“Based on the way it was starting to heal, I suggested that the injury was less than a week old.

“It would certainly have been a painful injury and when I felt his limb, Harvey cried.

“If his owner had come to us sooner, we could have administered pain relief that would have had an almost immediate effect.”

The vet said that as Harvey’s owner should have sought veterinary advice immediately as it would have been classed as an emergency.

She also said that Nash massaging Harvey’s leg would have been very painful and that he could have attended the practice for free or an RSPCA clinic.

After retiring to deliberate, the bench of three magistrates returned a guilty verdict, but were unable to sentence Nash in his absence.