Owner appeals after dog abuse hearing

PUBLISHED: 07:50 29 January 2012

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse

Archant

A WOMAN who subjected her dog to 'prolonged neglect' to such an extent it had to be put down, has lodged a written appeal against the decision to seize her other pets.

Celia Blackwell, aged 59, admitted failing to look after her Jack Russell terrier’s welfare responsibly and two counts of not providing adequate veterinary care for it when she appeared at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges last week.

The Mercury reported how the dog, called Noble, had to be put down by vets last July because his skin condition was so bad it had to be anaesthetised before the vets could handle it.

Helen Avison, a vet at Beaconsfield Practice in Weston for 16 years, said she had originally seen the dog twice in November 2009 and told Blackwell to take the dog back for further treatment, which she failed to do.

Addressing the court she said: “His condition was really dreadful and I was shocked at how his skin condition had deteriorated.

“It was the worst I have ever seen before or ever since.”

Walter Lewis, chair of the bench, handed Blackwell a disqualification order banning her from owning or keeping any pets for two years and ordered the animals she owns to be seized.

But Blackwell immediately submitted an appeal against the sentence.

It means the confiscation of her two cats and the ban on looking after any animals is suspended until the appeal is heard. No date has yet been set for the appeal to be heard.

Blackwell, of Warrilow Close, Worle, agreed to allow RSPCA inspectors to check on the cats’ health this week.

Neil Hinton, defending, said: “She has always found the company of her animals a comfort.”

Mr Lewis said Noble had endured a period of ‘prolonged neglect’.

He said: “It is clear you allowed your animal to suffer greatly. We consider that the suffering wasn’t a deliberate act but you failed the animal significantly while it was in your care.”

He also sentenced her to a 16-week high-level community order and curfew and ordered her to pay £250 costs. Blackwell has not appealed against 
these sentences and they are effective immediately.

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