Cruel couple neglected family pet
By Lisa Nightingale
Neglected ... Bimbi had to be put to sleep by the RSPCA.
THIS is the agonising condition a cross-breed collie was left to suffer after being abandoned by its owners.
Vets were left no option but to put Bimbi to sleep when she was eventually rescued by RSCPA officers.
An examination found all four of her feet were showing signs of substantial elephantisation. Bimbi was also suffering from alopecia, overgrown nails and had a painful ear.
Owners, Gillian Holland Hardy and Philip Luke Hardy, have now been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after they pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when they appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
Clive McKeag, prosecuting, said the RSPCA had been contacted after a member of the public raised concerns over the dog's welfare.
He said:"When the officer arrived at the home, the kitchen was in a poor state and she could see the dog was in a poor condition.
"When she asked about the animal, all they kept saying was they were trying to get in touch with the RSPCA.
"The couple were cautioned and while Mrs Hardy accepted what she was being told, Mr Hardy put his hands over his ears and refused to listen, showing a childish attitude."
Magistrates heard Mr Hardy had told the RSPCA during interview he had tried to bathe Bimbi's ear, but it made it worse.
He went on to tell officers he knew about animal care and had books about it.
Mr McKeag added: "By the couple's own admission they knew this animal had been suffering for a long time. Secondly, their attitude was deplorable, and thirdly, they were putting the responsibility on to the RSPCA, but it is not their job, it is the owner's responsibility to take care of their animals."
Charles Wardell, mitigating, said: "The Hardys loved their dog and love the dog they now have. They are not the sort of people who tie up their dogs and beat them.
"They failed to get the attention that is required for that dog and why did that happen? Well they wrongly believed that they could manage the situation.
"They have had dogs for a long time and they thought they could sort it out themselves, and the reality was they couldn't, and the situation got worse."
Sentencing the couple, chairman of the bench, Derek Porter, banned them from keeping pets, with immediate effect, for 10 years.
The couple also received a 12-month conditional discharge and £300 costs.
Mr Porter, said: "We feel the RSPCA has proved the animal has been caused unnecessary suffering.