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Man accused of dog cruelty

A dog dealer has been accused of animal cruelty after leaving puppies in a car on a hot day while he caught a ferry to Jersey, a court has been told.

John Walsh, of Brampton, Cumbria, left nine puppies in the soaring temperatures on Weymouth quay, Dorset, as he got the early ferry as a foot passenger. The dogs were only found after a parking attendant heard them. Six Jack Russells, two papillons and a bichon frise were found cramped into two carrier boxes without water as they had knocked their bowls over, the court heard.

Mr Walsh denies three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals on 20 May, 2004. Blandford Magistrates' Court heard that he had left the windows open about an inch when he parked his Vauxhall Astra to catch the Condor fast ferry to meet prospective buyers in Jersey.

Dorset Police called him on his mobile phone and he confirmed that he had left the Vauxhall and the puppies, the court heard. David Bell, prosecuting, said: “It was the hottest day of the year so far, according to a witness. The dogs suffered while imprisoned in the car and that suffering was unnecessary.”

Mr Bell added that Mr Walsh had avoided police and an RSPCA inspector waiting for him at Weymouth quayside, and that he had made no attempt to recover either his car or the puppies.

Mr Walsh denies three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals by abandoning them in a car during hot weather, confining them in a car in hot weather, and transporting puppies in a way likely to cause suffering.

The trial continues.