Bugle, St Austell, Cornwall: Linda Cooper

#TheList Linda Diane Cooper, aged 47, of Riverside Caravan Park, Minorca Lane,  Bugle, St Austell PL26 8QN -starved dog to death by spending money on drugs instead of vet treatment

Dog abuser Linda Cooper from Bugle, Cornwall, and Kano the dog she neglected

The 11-year-old dog, named Kano, had to be put down after drug addict  Cooper, failed to take him to a vet.

Cooper admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Linda Diane Cooper leaving Truro Magistrates' Court

The court heard how Kano was eventually taken to a vet by a friend of Cooper in February 2018.

Despite six days of intensive treatment care he did not survive.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Lindi Meyer said the animal was “completely emaciated from prolonged neglect” and “could barely walk”.

He also had a painful chronic liver condition that caused a lack of appetite.

Speaking at the sentencing hearing, Ms Meyer described how Cooper, who was living in Bodmin at the time, had owned Kano for two years and said a neighbour told her the dog needed to visit a vet.

Cooper said she was unable to take him and when the neighbour took matters into their own hands and took Kano for treatment, Cooper didn’t even attend.

Linda Diane Cooper leaving court

The visit to the vet revealed Kano had a body mass score of 1/5 and was suffering from jaundice and fleas.

Ms Meyer said: “The RSPCA was contacted and police attended and seized the dog, passing it to the RSPCA. It wasn’t until six days later the defendant contacted the vets to ask what was going on.

“There was an obvious muscle loss in Kano’s head resulting in a dip in his skull. This indicated ongoing suffering and he also had a poor coat and liver disease.

“This had been ongoing for weeks and months and the dog would have been in severe pain. Over six days the vets gave him tender loving care but he couldn’t be saved.”

Kano had to be put down despite a period of extensive treatment
During the investigation Cooper tried to pin blame on a vet and when asked if she could have done anything else to help Kano, she

Ms Meyer concluded: “It was a period of prolonged neglect. The defendant was well aware of Kano’s condition and chose not to seek help.

“She showed no remorse and was aware of Kano’s conditions and the concerns of neighbours but chose not to do anything.”

Charles Hulley, mitigating for Cooper, said that she was in the midst of an addiction and had also had her children taken away from her.

He said: “Her main priority is to look after herself and she is a lady who would benefit from the help of the Probation Service.

“She still says finances made it very difficult to take Kano to the vet.”

Sentencing Cooper, judge Diane Baker said it was only her guilty plea, the fact she’d been out of prison for so long and that she had been so honest about her drug addiction that meant she would not be sent to prison.

She said: “It was obvious the dog was suffering and this went on for a prolonged period of time.

“Kano was losing weight rapidly causing neighbours to intervene. You were effectively starving the dog to death and despite a lot of work that poor dog still died.

“In interview you showed a complete lack of remorse. You chose to spend your money on drugs and you are not a fit person to look after animals.”

14-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months; 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days;  £300 in costs and a victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.

BBC News

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