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Pet ban for couple who tried to feed dog tobacco

A COUPLE have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after feeding their starving German shepherd tobacco.

Brian and Hazel Smith left their dog, Hercules, tied up for more than a month without food, leaving him half his normal bodyweight and close to death.

RSPCA officers were called to their former home on Hull's Orchard Park in September last year after reports their other dog, Rooney, was straying – and were shocked to find the painfully thin German shepherd tied up in the garden.

When questioned, Smith, 47, said he gave the dog tobacco because he thought it had a worm infection.

Vet Paul Knott, who treated Hercules, said: "The attempt to give tobacco in my opinion was extremely unacceptable and potentially harmful to a dog due to its toxicity. It can be really dangerous and can kill."

The Smiths, both 31, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by failing to provide for its adequate needs at Hull Magistrates' Court.

Judge Fred Rutherford sentenced them both to 44 days imprisonment suspended for 12 months, fined them £75 each and banned them from keeping any animal for 10 years. The dog has since been rehomed.

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