Sealand man banned from keeping dogs for a decade after failing to seek treatment for pet in severe pain

A man described as “a dog lover all his life” has been banned from keeping dogs for a decade.

A court heard how Peter Neville Tellet’s pet dog SpongeBob, a Jack Russell terrier, chewed off its own back foot and lower leg.

The animal would have been in severe pain.

But Tellet, who said he noticed it had lost its back right foot two weeks earlier but did not think it was in pain because it did not “howl or cry”, did not get any veterinary attention.

Tellet, 58, of East Green, Sealand, admitted a cruelty charge between July 4 and July 18.

As well as the 10-year dog ban, he was placed on a 12-week tagged curfew to remain indoors each night between 7pm and 7am and told to pay £300 costs and a £85 surcharge

District judge Gwyn Jones told Tellet he would have to make urgent arrangements to have any remaining dogs rehoused.

Earlier the judge questioned why, if there was no money available, there were five dogs in the house in the first place?

The court was told Tellet, who had no previous convictions, could not do unpaid work because of a heart condition.

Solicitor Glen Murphy, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told Flintshire Magistrates Court that RSPCA Inspector Fred Armstrong called at the Tellet’s home and spoke to his partner.

He was shown a male Jack Russell dog and part of its rear right leg was missing.

The injury appeared to be fairly recent but the partner did not know how it happened.

It had been noticed some two weeks earlier but she said they did not have the money to take him to the vet.

She agreed to sign over the dog, together with two others, to the RSPCA.

At the time there were three adult dogs and five puppies in the property, said Mr Murphy.

Tellet was interviewed and said he had SpongeBob for nine years and became aware of the injury some two weeks before. It was not bleeding and he assumed it was alright.

Tellet said he believed the dog had done it himself, did not howl or cry, and he did not consider it to be in pain.

He agreed it was his fault that nothing had been done about it. “I should have done more,” he said.

Vet David Harlow found the dog to be “quiet and miserable” and was missing its rear, right lower leg below the hock.

The wound was swollen and painful, the vet suspected it was infected, and the degree of healing was consistent with “traumatic amputation” some two weeks before.

It was also consistent with the claim that the dog might have chewed off its own foot.

SpongeBob was given pain relief and anti-biotics.

It also had teeth missing and may have had teeth knocked out, said the vet.

It’s nails on the remaining three feet were long, suggesting a lack of reasonable exercise.

The leg injury would have extremely painful and the vet said that the dog would have been in chronic and acute pain since it happened.

It had undergone unnecessary suffering by failure to seek veterinary attention.

Mr Murphy said a lack of money was no reason not to seek veterinary attention for an animal.

All vets were under a duty to provide pain relief to prevent suffering, whether payment was made or not. The RSPCA was always available to give advice.

Solicitor Brian Cross, defending, told the Mold court his client had always been a dog lover.

Unfortunate due to ill-health including a heart condition he had been unable to look after the dog for a short period.

His partner and two daughters had dogs but they had all gone now apart from one puppy which one of the daughters would be taking with her when she moved to new accommodation.

Mr Cross said he had a number of testimonials from neighbours whose pets had been cared for by his client and he was described as very reliable and trustworthy.

The dog had appeared in good health, was kept in a kennel and had food and a garden to exercise.

It was not a case of deliberate cruelty, said Mr Cross, adding: “He has owned dogs for 45 years and has always treated his dogs with care and affection.”

He said Tellet had worked all his life in various roles including as a cleaner and a barman.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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