#TheList Paul Whitehead, born c. 1972, of Ravendale Street South, Scunthorpe – failed to get veterinary attention for his desperately ill dog
Eight-year-old Yorkie/poodle cross Tootsie was so poorly that vets felt they would need to put her to sleep as soon as RSPCA officers brought her to them in March 2019.
Her owner, Paul Whitehead, admitted causing pain or suffering to the animal by not ensuring veterinary attention.
Rachel Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that Whitehead’s former partner alerted the RSPCA when she saw Tootsie.
RSPCA inspector Kate Burris took the dog to a vet, where it was found that her weight had gone from 7.6kg to 3.9kg.
The vet recommended the dog should be put down because she was so unwell. She had been suffering for months from a disease which prevented enzymes from digesting food.
Tootsie was excreting blood but Whitehead had not got proper treatment for the animal, even though he had tried feeding her.
Tootsie died three days after being taken to a vet and had suffered significant pain.
The RSPCA began an investigation and interviewed Whitehead. Vets who had previously cared for Tootsie said they remembered her being a “chunky” dog.
Inspectors also checked the owner’s two other dogs but they were found to be in reasonable health.
It was revealed in court the owner suffered from multiple sclerosis and had bi-polar disorder.
A report by a probation officer revealed he had been targeted by vandals who branded him a “paedo” and smashed his windows.
The report said: “He admits he did not give enough attention to the dog and he is sorry. Dogs are his life.”
For Whitehead, Peter Cruickshank said: “Mr Whitehead loves his dogs. He had loved his dog for six years. It suffered from a pancreatic disease.
“This is not a case of deliberate neglect or suffering. He accepts he did not do enough. He wishes he had done more.
“He is sorry and misses Tootsie.”
He added that Whitehead had broken up with his partner and his life was in “emotional turmoil.”
Whitehead had owned dogs for 20 years previously.
Mr Cruickshank said: “He gave well-intentioned but incompetent treatment. It is an isolated incident. He is at a low risk of harm and has a long history of happy dog ownership.
“It is a sad case. He was overwhelmed by his condition.”
Whitehead was allowed to keep his other dogs Chester and Ziggy because there was no evidence that they were being neglected.
Magistrates also said there was insufficient evidence to prevent Whitehead from looking after dogs in the future.
Sentencing: 12-month community supervision order with a 12-week curfew. Ordered to pay costs of £500.