A couple banned from keeping animals were found to be keeping a dog who had become overweight as a result of not being walked - because they were scared of being found out.
Anthony Makin (DOB 16/01/75) and Sally Makin (DOB 01/01/75), of Dale Avenue, Bromborough, were sentenced at Wirral Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Wednesday 4 October) after pleading guilty to two offences at a previous hearing - causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by failing to provide veterinary care for lameness, and being in breach of a disqualification order.
The court heard that the couple were originally disqualified from keeping animals in September 2015 after being convicted of an Animal Welfare Act offence.
But in June this year, the RSPCA received a report that the couple had a dog at their home address.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes contacted Mr Makin, who admitted that they had a rottweiler called Sky.
Inspector Joynes said: “They admitted they’d had him for seven months, but during that whole time he hadn’t been for a walk because they were scared of being found out. As a result, the dog was drastically overweight and had overgrown claws.
“On top of that, he had problems with his leg, which the Makins had self-diagnosed as arthritis. But when I got him checked out by a vet, it turned out he had a bone tumour on his front right leg - a type which was notoriously painful - and the cancer had actually spread to his lungs.
“Sadly the tumour was inoperable but he was such a lovely dog and we wanted to give him as long as possible, so he was put on pain relief.
“He came into the care of our Wirral branch and, because of his size, we renamed him Maximus. He spent his days behind the reception and he constantly got fuss. He was a favourite with the staff.”
Sadly, a few weeks after arriving in the RSPCA’s care, Maximus took a turn for the worse.
“At that point the vet said it would be kinder to put him to sleep,” said Inspector Joynes. “We were all devastated but we were pleased to have given him a few weeks of plenty of treats and fuss.
“If we hadn’t have intervened then the Makins would have just found him one day collapsed. He would have been in immense pain.”
Magistrates gave Mr and Mrs Makin a 12-month community order, a 20-week curfew, disqualified them from keeping animals for five years and ordered them to pay costs of £250 each and an £85 victim surcharge.