A Wiltshire man who ‘lacked care’ for a seriously injured dog has avoided an animal ban.
Barrister Rowan Morton, prosecuting, said Dean Parkes ‘concealed the truth’ after a miniature dachshund called Mable sustained critical blunt-force trauma injuries to her ribs.
The 27-year-old was acquitted of causing the dog’s injuries due to a lack of evidence and was instead found guilty of failing to protect her from pain, suffering and injury following a trial at Swindon Magistrates’ Court in May.
At the time of delivering the mixed verdict, District Judge Joanna Dickens said: “Whilst he could have done it, and certainly on the balance of probabilities did do it, I am not sure.”
Adding: “Something happened to Mable, I don’t know what happened, but I’m sure Mr Parkes knows. Whether he did it or someone else did it, either way, he didn’t take reasonable steps to prevent this happening.”
Ms Morton said that it was particularly concerning that Parkes ‘still refutes the allegations’ and asked the court for consideration of a dog ownership disqualification.
Defending, Alex Weller, said it was an “unusual case” and asked Judge Dickens not to impose a ban.
He said there is evidence to show that Parkes is an “exceptionally good owner of Duke”, his red labrador, and “unusually has the benefit of two positive references from vet Sally McCartney”.
Parkes, of Easton Square, Sherston, has completed a number of animal welfare courses – including one in animal first aid. Mr Weller said the “one-off” incident is “unlikely to be repeated”
He said the self-employed defendant – who runs a local construction business – earns £728 a month and has gone through hardships in his life.
“There is ample evidence to suggest there will be no repeat of the incident and that he does not pose a risking going forward to the dogs”, Mr Weller said.
Judge Dickens ordered Parkes to complete 60 hours of unpaid work within 12 months. He was also told to pay £800 prosecution costs and a £95 surcharge.
She added: “If there had been better cooperation by you, the suffering would have been greatly reduced. That lack of care by you on that occasion had very serious consequences for Mable.
“No one disputed you took excellent care of Duke.
“On balance, whilst I think there are going to be risks, the question in my mind is if it is proportionate. I am not satisfied [there is a need for a disqualification from dog ownership]. I think the risks have been hugely reduced.”
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