Thursday, May 14, 2009

Man with overweight dog convicted

A dog owner whose border collie was found to be twice its ideal weight has been found guilty of neglect. Ronald West, of Donald Road, Brighton, was convicted in his absence after failing to appear before magistrates in the city and sentencing was adjourned.

The court heard five-year-old Taz was found to weigh 88lb (40kg), after West ignored orders to improve his diet. Animal welfare officers who visited the 62-year-old's flat last December said they found dog faeces in every room.

West told officers the dog was overweight because it had been given too many treats by him and his friends. He said he had been unwell with flu and unable to clean the flat or walk the dog.

During the case, magistrates heard a transcript between West and council officers in which West said: "I'll put my hands up and say I'm guilty of [the dog] being overweight, but it wasn't deliberate. You can be cruel with kindness."

Chairman of the bench Robert Divine ordered a warrant to ensure West attended sentencing.

After the hearing, Brighton councillor Geoffrey Theobald said: "All dogs, but particularly border collies like Taz, need a good healthy diet and lots of exercise. Keeping a large dog shut indoors in a small space and overfeeding is a form of cruelty."

With news video.

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