A former dog owner from Northampton who failed to stop two bull terriers from fatally injuring each other during a 90-minute fight has been banned from owning any animal for 10 years.
Adam Underwood, aged 28, of Monmouth Road, Spencer, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Monday after he pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs, named Bobby and Marley, by failing to keep them apart despite knowing they often fought each other.
The charges relate to an incident on September 11, 2013, at the home of Underwood’s former partner Elisa Bates on Salisbury Street, in Semilong, Northampton.
Kevin McCole, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said Underwood claimed his dog Marley, who was being kept at that address, was set upon by Bates’ pet dog Bobby during a visit to the house.
Mr McCole said the ensuing fight caused horrific bite wounds to both animals - but only Bobby, the younger of the two, was initially taken to the vets in a neighbour’s car. He died from the wounds overnight.
The court heard Marley was only recovered from Bates’ home by an RSPCA inspector the following day - by which time he was unable to stand and with sceptic puncture wounds.
Mr McCole said: “The delay in treatment contributed to the death of the dog.
“The vet that eventually did treat him said the injuries seen on were the worst fight injuries she had seen in her 14 years of practice.”
Both Underwood and Bates pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and admitted causing Marley unnecessary suffering by failing to take him to hospital, on July 7.
Mr McCole also said the animals had been kept in a poor environment.
He said Bobby was taken into the veterinary surgery on September 11 in a muddy sheet and “was covered in faeces from head toe”, adding that excrement had embedded into the wounds.
Under interview Underwood, who represented himself in court, said that he had tried to stop the fight and had even been bitten himself in the incident to the extent he needed hospital treatment.
He claimed that he did not take Marley to the vets because he did not have any form of transport when he returned from hospital later that evening. He could not take Marley in the morning, he added, because he had to go to work.
Underwood was given a sentence of 160 hours of unpaid work and must pay court costs of £500 and a victim’s surcharge of £60.
Bates is due to be sentenced for the same charges in September.