RSPCA hit with bill for pet cruelty prosecution
Aug 14 2008 by Linda Richards, Evening Chronicle
A CHARITY has been landed with a huge bill for prosecuting a couple for cruelty to their pet dog.
The RSPCA paid for Yorkshire terrier Pebbles to be nursed back to health after Michael and Sharon Finnie failed to seek help for a chronic skin condition.
It paid out £841 in veterinary care for the dog which lost nearly all its hair and developed broken skin and sores from an infection. The care and court costs also included £1,209 for boarding Pebbles, £40 for photographs and £555 legal fees.
Although Pebbles suffered the condition for six months the couple never took the dog for treatment. They thought the dog had fleas and administered flea powder but this hadn’t helped.
They claimed they were hard-up and living on a shoestring budget.
They’d been told veterinary treatment was very expensive.
At Gateshead Magistrates’ Court, Michael, 44, and Sharon, 48, both of Mary Street, Blaydon Burn, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Pebbles. Mr Finnie, who earns £220 a week as a part-time bakery worker, was fined £185, and Mrs Finnie, who doesn’t work, was fined £85.
They were told to pay £50 each towards the cost of the case.
Passing sentence, magistrates said they were not making an award for any of the RSPCAs costs to be paid from central funds.
They also turned down a request from the charity’s solicitor Clive McKeag for the RSPCA to keep the dog and find it a good home. Instead magistrates said Pebbles should be returned to the couple.
The RSPCA must now foot the full bill, minus the £100 the Finnies must pay. A spokesman said: “We accept the decision the court has made in relation to this matter.”
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wa� i�4��� Long time ago the RSPCA person advised me not to have a cat whilst I had a dog.....I ended up with two dogs and four cats (two of the cats made their own minds up to move in). They had their pecking order. The smallest cat was the leader and the boss. moneyforwhat
lauren m says...
9:04pm Wed 8 Sep 10
Seriously i cant believe im reading some of the stupid comments on here! What if this cat was picked up by someone who was concerned about it as it was dieing, THEY called the RSPCA they collected the cat from them, the RSPCA then took it to the vet who confirmed it was dieing and suffereing tremendously so used their professional opinion to come to the decision it was BEST for the cat to be put to sleep. Not wait 7 days later! Has it been confirmed by Ms Bakers vet that she actually took it to the vets, hard to belive a bank holiday bill to see a cat would only be £100!!!!!!! I would say this is just one side of a story which may be littered with lies of an angry old woman, wanting someone to blame for HER letting a cat get to a point where it was in pain. lauren m
12:35pm Fri 10 Sep 10
Lauren M - read what the vast majority of people on here are saying. Dissatisfaction with the RSPCA is rife, and this is a further tragic example of their failings. I have tried to discuss the matter and others with the RSPCA, but they refuse to enter into any reasonable correspondence. Come on Press, name and shame the officer involved and the managers aiding and abetting her actions. And investigate the RSPCA at local and regional level. It is time for them to be accountable.