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Dartford man banned from keeping dogs for five years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to his Staffie called Mercedes


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A pet owner has been banned from keeping dogs after leaving his elderly Staffie collapsed on the kitchen floor in her own urine and faeces.

Alexander Boyd, of Kirby Road, Dartford, appeared at Bexleyheath Magistrates' Court where he pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his dog, Mercedes.

Mercedes the Staffie was found collapsed on the floor. Picture: RSPCA
Mercedes the Staffie was found collapsed on the floor. Picture: RSPCA

The court heard how RSPCA inspector Deborah Rutherford was called to the flat in Dartford in April after neighbours raised concerns about the welfare of the dogs.

She spoke to 35-year-old Boyd outside and he invited her to come and check on the dogs a few days later.

One of Inspector Rutherford’s colleagues returned that weekend but there was no answer at the door so he left a card.

She said: “On May 6 our national control centre had a call from Mr Boyd saying one of his dog's back legs weren’t working and she was going to the toilet where she laid.

"He said he couldn’t afford vet bills so wanted to give the dog up.

The emaciated condition of Mercedes the Staffie can clearly be seen. Picture: RSPCA
The emaciated condition of Mercedes the Staffie can clearly be seen. Picture: RSPCA

“Myself and animal rescue officer Emma Byrne went to the property and Mercedes was collapsed on the floor.

"She was in very poor body condition with her hips protruding.

"She was barely responsive and was lying on a urine-soaked quilt under the window in the kitchen.

"There was food and water available in the kitchen but her condition meant she couldn’t access either.”

Boyd signed a euthanasia consent form and the RSPCA officers scooped 13-year-old Mercedes up and she was taken to a nearby vet surgery.

Mercedes the Staffie being put in the RSPCA van. Picture: RSPCA
Mercedes the Staffie being put in the RSPCA van. Picture: RSPCA

An RSPCA spokesman added: "Sadly, as expected, vets felt there was nothing they could do to help Mercedes and put her to sleep peacefully."

In her statement, the vet who examined Mercedes, said: “Mercedes was unable to sit up or stand. She was extremely thin. Her muscle condition was poor over her lumbar spine and hind legs.

"There was a very strong smell of stale urine caused by the soaking of her fur and skin.

"Faecal material was present around her anus, perianal area and the base of her tail.

“When her head was lifted, she showed extreme pain by vocalising. The decision was made to euthanise Mercedes due to the fact that she was suffering and beyond veterinary help.”

Vets said there was nothing they could do to save Mercedes the Staffie. Picture: RSPCA
Vets said there was nothing they could do to save Mercedes the Staffie. Picture: RSPCA

Tests found that Mercedes was suffering a chronic urinary infection and chronic malnutrition. They believe she’d been suffering like this for at least a week.

A second dog – a male Staffie called Buster – was rehomed.

Boyd, who was in court on Thursday last week, was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay costs of £500. He was also disqualified from keeping dogs for five years. (August 26)

Speaking after the sentencing hearing, Inspector Rutherford added: “Part of owning a pet is ensuring that they receive prompt and proper veterinary attention at the first sign of illness, discomfort or injury.

"Sometimes, being a dog owner means making difficult and upsetting decisions, particularly when our pets are old and reaching the end of their lives.

“I’m so sad that we couldn’t save her but I feel relieved that we could be there with her at the end to show her love and kindness..."

"It’s completely unacceptable to leave a pet in such a condition such as Mercedes to suffer and languish in such pain.

“I’m so sad that we couldn’t save her but I feel relieved that we could be there with her at the end to show her love and kindness, and to allow her to slip away with some peace, so that she wouldn’t suffer any longer.”

Escaped animals, unusual finds and news from the RSPCA can all be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Dartford

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