Dogs suffered for five days without vet care after being attacked by another Staffordshire bull terrier

THE owner of two Staffordshire bull terriers badly injured during a dog fight has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals, by failing to get them any veterinary care after the attack.

Joanne Bird wept in the witness box at Wisbech courthouse as she described returning home to find the dogs being set upon by another of her Staffordshire bull terriers.

She said: “Hector was biting Tyson’s ear, and Smee was biting Hector. I got a shovel and tried to get him off. Hector then let go and turned on Smee.”

She claimed that a man called “Tommie” had taken the dogs to the vet on the day of the incident, returning them an hour later with one dog bandaged, and producing tablets that turned out to be medication for human thrush.

But RSPCA prosecutor Jonathan Eales said such a story was “wholly unbelievable.”


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An RSPCA Inspector visited Bird at her home in Corporation Road at Wisbech five days after the incident, and saw Tyson’s severe ear injury.

Insp Knight told the court: “He was in poor bodily condition, and had a lacerated left ear, with pussy discharge and necrotic tissue hanging lose; there was a pungent smell from the wound, and other multiple scars and wounds on the muzzle, neck and face.”

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He said Smee was in fair bodily condition, and had an open wound to the rear of his right ear, with a pussy discharge, and other multiple wounds and scars.

Both dogs were taken to the vet by the RSPCA, Tyson was hospitalised and underwent intensive treatment; Smee received treatment at the surgery.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Jonathan Eales said: “There is no suggestion there was any organised dog fighting, the fight was between three of her dogs.”

A vet concluded that both dogs had suffered unnecessarily for five days, through lack of treatment.

Bird, 44 - who owned eight Staffordshire bull terriers at the time - had told the RSPCA that a man called Tommie had taken the dogs to the vet, and had not wanted payment.

Mr Eales said: “We do not believe that story at all, it is wholly unbelievable. It was a Sunday, none of the vets would have been open.

“Inspector Knight checked all the vets within an hour’s radius, none had seen these dogs. We know they never went to the vet.”

Sentencing was adjourned until March 16.

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