A man who left a dog to die in a ditch after shooting it six times with an air gun and hitting it over the head with a spade, has been jailed.
Marc Turnbull, of Dainty Grove, Grange Park, Northampton, took Rocky, a tan crossbreed, out to a lay-by on the A5, between Kilsby and Weedon, and tried to execute his pet.
Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard Turnbull had become frustrated with the behaviour of his dog, which was prone to defecating in his house and barking incessantly.
Robert Broughton, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Turnbull had made the decision to “deal with the dog” on April 21 after “driving around for hours deciding what to do”.
Amazingly, Rocky was found alive by a council worker who was clearing rubbish from the lay-by three days later.
Rocky was taken to a vet and he was found to have a number of serious injuries, including a deep wound to the back of his head, both his eyes were bleeding and he was underweight.
The vet carried out X-rays on the dog which revealed it had six metal pellets embedded in its body, including five in its head. An operation was carried out to remove three of them, but the other three were too deeply embedded to be extracted.
RSPCA officers managed to track Turnbull as the owner because the dog was microchipped.
An air gun was found at Turnbull’s property and he then voluntarily attended Wellingborough Police Station to be interviewed by an RSPCA officer.
Mr Broughton said Turnbull told police he had attempted to sell his dog, which he had taken ownership of in January, but no buyers had come forward.
Turnbull said he had tied the dog’s lead to a post and then shot it in the head to “put it out of its misery”. Turnbull said that when he thought this ”had not worked” he hit the dog with a shovel.
Turnbull told officers that he thought the dog was dead and did not answer when he was asked by officers if he had put his pet in a bin bag found next to it. Andy Gibson, defending, said Turnbull was suffering from anxiety and believed that Rocky was upsetting his wife and causing his family circumstances to be intolerable.
Magistrates sentenced Turnbull to 20 weeks in prison for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. He has been banned from owning any animal for 20 years.
Rocky is believed to have recovered from his injuries and has now been re-homed.