#TheList Neil Patrick Souter, born 29/11/1960, of Blakey Walk, Middlesbrough TS6 8BB – exposed his three dogs to extreme suffering
Souter denied his pet terriers Boyo, Vino and Baby veterinary treatment over a five-year period and allowed them to suffer severely, leaving one with an “oozing” tumour, and others with growths, blackened skin, and teeth problems.
Stewart Haywood, prosecuting, described the scene to the court:
“There was an unpleasant smell in the house and all three dogs were in poor condition.
“On arrival, Baby was asleep, but the inspector saw that she had fur loss.”
Baby also had tumorous masses on her bottom and right foot, leaving her unable to walk and suffering for “no less than two weeks”.
Mr Haywood added that Souter said he was “aware of the lump” and said Baby had had it for about “five years”.
“The defendant had an open bottle of alcohol and was seen to be under the influence”, he said.
“He then walked out of the house holding Vino shouting that the RSPCA were going to take the dog to put her to sleep.”
Souter eventually “calmed down” and let the inspector remove the dogs.
All three of the dogs had “black, thickened and flaky” skin from untreated disease likely caused by fleas, while Boyo and Vino had dental disease that caused suffering for “no less than six months”.
All three dogs were later euthanised or passed away from their catalogue of ailments.
Souter said he accepted ownership and “did what he could” when it came to the dogs’ health.
A probation officer told the court that Souter was “resistant” to questions and alleged photos of the neglect had been “tampered with” by the RSPCA.
His solicitor Paul McGee said his client, who had no previous convictions, is paranoid and believes “people are out to get him”.
He also submitted a string of other factors in mitigation, including that Souter was blind in one eye, had a fear of leaving home and was struggling after a string of family bereavements.
But district judge Natalie Wortley dismissed pleas for leniency: “This is a case that involved prolonged neglect and a high level of suffering.
“I have heard you were extremely loyal to those dogs and loved those dogs but you neglected them severely.”
Sentencing: 12 weeks in prison; ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge. Disqualified from owning animals for five years.