10-year ban for Fenland woman convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Staffordshire bull terriers

THE owner of two Staffordshire bull terriers injured during a fight has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years for causing unnecessary suffering.

Joanne Bird was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by failing to get them any veterinary care, following a trial at Fenland Magistrates’ Court.

The 10-year ban handed out yesterday by magistrates was suspended for one week for Bird to rehome her five other dogs. If this is not done the RSPCA has the power to remove them.

Bird was also given 120 hours unpaid work, a deprivation order on both dogs and was ordered to pay �550 costs.

During the trial last month Bird described returning to her home in Corporation Road, Wisbech, to find the dogs being set upon by another of her Staffordshire bull terriers.

She said: “Hector was biting Tyson’s ear and Smee was biting Hector. I got a shovel and tried to get him off. Hector then let go and turned on Smee.”

Bird, 44, who owned eight Staffordshire bull terriers at the time - told the RSPCA that a man called Tommie had taken the injured dogs to the vet and had not wanted payment.

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He returned with them an hour later with one dog bandaged and produced tablets that turned out to be medication for human thrush.

But RSPCA prosecutor Jonathan Eales described the story as “wholly unbelievable” and said: “Insp (Jon) Knight checked all the vets within an hour’s radius, none had seen these dogs. We know they never went to the vet.”

Insp Knight visited Bird at her home five days after the incident and saw Tyson’s ear injury.

He told the court: “He was in poor bodily condition and had a lacerated left ear, with discharge and necrotic tissue hanging loose.

“There was a pungent smell from the wound and other multiple scars and wounds on the muzzle, neck and face.”

He said Smee was in fair bodily condition and had an open wound to the rear of his right ear with a discharge, and other multiple wounds and scars.

Both dogs were taken to the vet by the RSPCA. Tyson was hospitalised and underwent intensive treatment, Smee received treatment at the surgery.

A vet concluded that both dogs had suffered unnecessarily for five days, through lack of treatment.

Sentencing was adjourned until March 16.