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Mastiff breeders found guilty in RSPCA case

A breeder of Mastiffs and Great Danes has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by Aylesbury Magistrates Court in a case brought by the RSPCA.

David Blaxter, who is a committee member of the Mastiff Association, and his wife Sylvia Blaxter were ordered to pay £4,130 in costs and fines after being found jointly responsible of failing to provide veterinary treatment for one of their Mastiffs.

Blaxter took Henry, an 11?-year-old dog, from the couple's cottage in Barton Hartshorn, Buckinghamshire to the Croft Veterinary Centre in Brackley, Northamptonshire in December 2007. The vets were so concerned about his condition that they contacted the RSPCA. Henry was extremely emaciated and had a cancerous tumour in his mouth that had disintegrated his lower jaw, making it impossible for him to eat. He also had bed sores caused by him being unable to stand.

Henry had never had a veterinary examination in his life and the defendants admitted they had noticed he had problems with his mouth as much as six months earlier.

Upon reaching his verdict, the district judge praised the vets for calling in the RSPCA. He also said that the case was 'black and white', adding that the dog was in an appalling condition.

In mitigation, Mr Blaxter said Henry was just an old dog and he had not noticed his tumour.

RSPCA inspector Kirsty Hampton said: "I am pleased with the verdict as this dog was in a terrible state and little remorse was shown by someone who should know one of the most basic duties of a responsible owner - that sick animals need veterinary treatment.

I would have liked to have seen a disqualification order imposed but I hope that the verdict and sentence will serve to prevent animals from suffering in the future."

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