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Dog found close to death

A DOG sustained a truly horrific injury after being left tethered without a collar for nearly two weeks in its owner’s garden in Cradley Heath, Birmingham.

The English Springer Spaniel bitch was tied by its owner to a stump with a nylon rope which dug into its neck, leaving a wound five cm deep in places and just millimetres from slicing the animal's jugular vein. It was rescued from the home in June last year, after concerned neighbours contacted the RSPCA when the normally lively dog went quiet.

The animal underwent a three-hour operation on its neck wound. Veterinary surgeon Jonathan Nott said the wound, which the dog would have had for at least a week, was one of the most severe he had ever seen.

He said: ‘The dog had a deep wound around the circumference of its neck. The rope was too fine to put around the dog's neck, pulling on it was certainly likely to break the dog's skin. It was a wholly unsuitable device.’

The vet made his comments whilst appearing as a witness at the trial of Michelle Brown, who had been looking after the animal last June while its owner, her estranged husband, was away on holiday.

West Bromwich Magistrates found the 31-year-old not guilty of unnecessarily omitting to obtain veterinary attention for the animal, after deciding she had been unable to see the true extent of the injury because the dog had a habit of retreating into its kennel when anybody approached.
The court heard how Brown, of Reid Road, Oldbury, had been travelling to Station Road each day to put out food for the animal.

Gerard Brady, defending, said an RSPCA inspector had also missed the wound when they first visited the property. He said: ‘If my client had seen the dog's injury she would have done something about it. The fact she bought worming tablets for the dog proves that.’

The dog's owner, Stewart Brown, last month admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and was given a ten-year ban on keeping animals. The 34-year-old was also handed a 12-month community supervision order and made to pay costs totalling £500.

In a statement the RSPCA said they accepted the magistrates' decision on Mrs Brown, but declined to comment on the dog’s injury initially not being spotted.

They also revealed the dog had made a full recovery and had now been rehomed. RSPCA inspector Jacqui Miller said: ‘ We are particularly pleased with the ban and the fact that the dog was confiscated by the court.

The ban means no other animal can suffer at Mr Brown's hands.’