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Politicians abandons dog

A COUNCILLOR who had stood for election as a prospective MP for the Welsh Assembly has admitted abandoning a dog belonging to his former partner. Barry Shaw was found guilty in court last week under the 1960 Abandonment of Animals Act; he received a 12-month ban from owning dogs and was ordered to pay a fine of £600.

Barry Shaw, a 46-year-old Plaid Cymru councillor on the Vale of Glamorgan Council, appeared before magistrates, ironically, in Barry last week.

He admitted abandoning a Border Collie called Pepsi in Michaelston-le-Pit on September 30 last year in circumstances likely to cause unnecessary suffering. The court was told that Shaw, of Merthyr Street, Barry, had abandoned the dog in a ‘moment of madness’ and now had to live with the shame and damage to his reputation. Shaw was fined £600, ordered to pay legal and investigation costs of £465.40 and disqualified from owning a dog for 12 months.

Ian Williams, prosecuting for the Vale council, said a Mrs Pritchard had seen Shaw walking the dog, which was tethered to a piece of rope, in Michaelston-le-Pit on September 30 last year. A car was nearby.About an hour-and-half later, she and a friend had returned to the spot to find the dog alone.

Mr Williams said: ‘The dog was nervous, cowering and it didn’t have a collar.’ She took the dog to a friend’s house for the night before taking it to kennels. Managers at the kennels recognised the dog and after checking records, found Shaw’s partner, Suzanne Hazelwood, had previously adopted it.

Shaw had contacted the dog warden on October 9 and in a later interview admitted he had abandoned the dog. The dog could have been returned to the kennels within 28 days of adoption without charge, after that a £60 fee would apply. Mr Williams said: ‘Effectively, this abandonment is a way of saving £60.’

Hywel James, defending, said: ‘He feels a high level of shame at having to come to court and plead guilty to such an offence. This is out of character for him.’
He said the abandonment came at a time when Shaw’s relationship with his partner was breaking down and he was under ‘considerable pressure.’ He continued: ‘It was a moment of madness and he has to live with the shame.’