A Chihuahua called Mac suffered severe head injuries resulting in him having to be put to sleep on humane grounds whilst in the care of his owner’s then boyfriend.
Reece Kevin Tommy West (D.O.B 25.10.96) of St John’s Road, Rotherham was jailed for 26 weeks and disqualified from keeping all animals for life when he appeared before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court today (Friday 29 March).
At an earlier hearing he was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Mac by subjecting him to non-accidental injury on 12 April last year*.
RSPCA inspector Paula Clemence said: “This was a very upsetting case to deal with.
“The owner of Mac is devastated – as you’d imagine.
“She left for work, and everything was fine, then she got a text from her boyfriend at the time – West – saying something was wrong with Mac and she needed to come back.
“She went straight home and found Mac collapsed, bleeding from his eye and ear and turning blue.
“She rushed him to a vet where he was placed on oxygen and examined and found to have severe head trauma.
“Extremely sadly, the decision was made to put him to sleep on humane grounds.”
Vet evidence stated that Mac had a large swelling around his left eye, bruising to his ear and across his body including his chest, toes and legs, and had a number of scratches and small abrasions.
A post mortem confirmed that Mac had a fractured skull and haemorrhaging to his head and neck consistent with large magnitude blunt force trauma to the area.
West maintained that he had assumed Mac had gone downstairs whilst he was lying in bed, and woke up some time later to find Mac on the bed crying and collapsed.
Both vets who gave evidence felt it was impossible that he had sustained the injuries himself, and that a fall from a small height like a bed or sofa or even down the stairs wouldn’t have resulted in head injuries so severe.
The court heard that West had mentioned to Mac’s owner that he had given him a ‘right whack’ two days before the incident, and she noted that Mac had been avoiding him in the home.
RSPCA Inspector Clemence said: “This incident caused a great deal of suffering to Mac, and his death, as well as an enormous amount of upset to his owner whose grief over what happened goes on.”
West was also ordered to pay £750 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
*The full offence he was convicted of was:
That on 12 April 2018 at an address on Wingfield Road, Rotherham you did cause unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely a Chihuahua type dog named Mac by failing to exercise reasonable care and supervision in respect of his protection from harm by subjecting him to non-accidental injury, namely blunt-force trauma, which you know or ought reasonably to have known would have the effect of causing unnecessary suffering or be likely to do so contrary to Section 4 (1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.