Man jailed after pet left to suffer

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A man has been jailed for 18 weeks after his rottweiler had to be put down because it was emaciated and had serious conditions affecting its eyes, one ear and skin.

Derek Sim, 44, was found guilty of three charges of causing the animal unnecessary suffering, between May and November last year, by failing to provide veterinary care.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison for each charge, to run concurrently.

Corby magistrates also disqualified him from keeping an animal for life.

Kevin McCole, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said Sim was visited by an inspector with the charity on August 23 last year and that the seven-year-old Rottweiler, named Jake, was thin and losing fur.

He said: “Both the dog’s eyes were swollen, its skin had thickened in places and and its ears were dirty.

“The owner was told to take the animal to a vet within 48 hours.”

Checks showed the dog had been taken to a vet on August 25 and that medication had been prescribed but Sim failed to pay for it or collect it.

Mr McCole said: “The inspector returned on November 28 and the animal’s condition had worsened.

“Its eyes were completely covered with thick green discharge, its paws were swollen and there was fur loss.”

The dog was taken by the RSPCA to a vet who said it had lost 20 per cent of its body weight.

Jake was suffering from mange, had a discharge from its ear and an eye condition.

The consultation was paid for by the RSPCA.

Andy Hopkinson, in mitigation, said: “There was a sad and tragic deterioration in Mr Sim’s ability to care for his dog.

“His state benefit was changed and he simply didn’t have the money to pay for the medication, a bill in excess of £100.

“He bought over-the-counter-products. Regrettably there was a deterioration in the dog’s condition.

“As Jake’s condition worsened he realised he would be in greater and greater trouble.

“His biggest regret is that his companion of seven years had to end life in such a condtion.”

The 18-week prison sentence imposed by magistrates was welcomed by the RSPCA.

A spokesman for the charity said: “The RSPCA is satisfied with the sentence handed out by the court, and it reflects the seriousness of this offence.

“We hope that this sentence acts as a deterrent to others and shows that animal cruelty will not be tolerated.”