Christchurch, Dorset: Martin Harrison

#TheList Martin Harrison, born c. 1960, of 4 Belvedere Road, Christchurch BH23 1PT – fed his two dogs a diet of cheese and rice pudding until they became so fat they couldn’t walk

Martin Harrison allowed his dogs Brucie and Lucy to become so obese they couldn’t walk and also failed to treat Lucy’s painful ear condition. Both dogs have now returned to a healthier weight in the care of the RSPCA.

Martin Harrison was convicted of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Staffies Brucie and Lucie and one of failing to provide veterinary care after allowing the dogs to become so overweight they were ‘barrel-shaped’ and buckled under their sheer size.

Although Harrison blamed his late mother for over-feeding the two dogs, he confessed to occasionally spoiling them with ‘cakes and doggy treats’.

The dogs were ‘panting heavily’ after being seized by RSPCA inspectors.

During the time Harrison owned the dogs, Brucie’s weight ballooned from a healthy 46lbs to 82lbs. Lucy’s weight increased to 75lbs and she had a chronic ear condition which was not treated.

Brucie’s weight almost doubled from a healthy 46lbs to 82lbs while Lucy’s bulk ballooned to 75lbs after Harrison took ownership of them in 2014.

Lucy is now a healthy weight

She also had a “significant” ear condition which was ignored.

The pair have since been put on a strict diet and now weigh a svelte 50lbs each.

Lucy has also had an op to repair her ear.

Both dogs have now been permanently confiscated from Harrison after a hearing at Poole Magistrates’ Court.

Jeremy Lake, prosecuting, said: “Both dogs were grossly obese and barrel-like when they were seized.

Brucie’s obesity caused him to collapse. He is now thriving.

“Brucie was panting constantly and laying down in the consulting room. He had fatty deposits around his neck and back.

“Lucy was also overweight and she had a chronic ear disease caused over a long time.”

Harrison, who lived with his mother, bought Brucie and Lucy on Gumtree in November 2014.

The defendant represented himself in court. He said his late mother, who had Alzheimer’s, would feed the dogs fatty food, despite him repeatedly asking her not to.

It’s all Iain Duncan Smith’s fault apparently …

He said he could not afford to take Lucy to the vets for a period of time, and blamed former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith for stopping his benefits.

“My dogs are my children. I miss them like crazy and I just want them back. I’ve got no one else,” he said.

“Any missed vet appointments can be blamed on Iain Duncan Smith. My benefits were stopped and I had no money.”

Sentencing: total of £280 in fines, costs and charges. Disqualified from owning or keeping animals for two years.

Dorset Echo