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RSPCA find dog with broken leg and fleas in Keeley Boswell and Paul Flemming's Chatham home

By Katie May Nelson

A couple were banned from keeping animals for 10 years after their dog's leg had to be amputated.

Keeley Boswell, 32, had previously been disqualified from keeping animals for three years when her partner, Paul Flemming, gave her a dog as a present.

RSPCA inspectors visited the couples' home in Gerald Avenue, Chatham on Thursday, June 25 2018 and found that the dog, Sandie, and their cat, named Princess, both had fleas.

s (10069271)
s (10069271)

Sandie, a 10-month-old Chihuahua, also showed signs of a deformed forelimb.

Both animals were taken to a veterinary surgery, where it was concluded that the dog ought to have its leg removed exhibiting a fracture, and that it had been caused unnecessary suffering to the animal for at least three weeks.

The vet also concluded that the kind of fracture would have occurred due to "great force", would have caused the dog significant pain, and that it would not been able to bear weight on it.

X-ray shows the fracture in Sandie the Chihauaua's leg (10069267)
X-ray shows the fracture in Sandie the Chihauaua's leg (10069267)

The couple's solicitor said at Medway Magistrate's Court on Thursday, May 9 that Boswell was aware she had been banned from keeping animals but she wasn't sure if the ban was still in force.

She also admitted when asked by inspectors that the dog's leg did not look straight.

Magistrates were shown pictures of both of the animals, which were handed over by the RSPCA.

Sore skin caused by fleas (10069279)
Sore skin caused by fleas (10069279)

Flemming, 27, said he hadn't noticed any issue with the leg but admitted that he ought to have taken it to the vets. He knew his partner had been banned from keeping animals but thought it would be fine as she was coming to the end of the ban.

Their solicitor advocated for the couple to be given community orders rather than a custodial sentence, as they had multiple children in their care and Flemming was named as the household's only breadwinner.

Both were charged with being a responsible person failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing in their duty being responsible for an animal to ensure welfare.

Princess the cat had fleas (10069263)
Princess the cat had fleas (10069263)

Boswell was charged with a breaching disqualification imposed after conviction, whilst Flemming was charged with aiding and abetting to this.

The couple were handed an 18 week suspended sentence, were banned from keeping animals for 10 years, and were ordered to take part in a total of 400 hours of unpaid work and supplementary rehabilitation sessions.

They were asked to pay £450 in costs.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Medway

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