Mon 16 May 2005


2:23pm (UK)

Ex-Dog Trainer Facing Animal Ban for Cruelty


By David Hughes, PA




A former greyhound trainer faces being banned from keeping animals after today admitting causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs.


David Cox, 68, failed to get treatment for the two greyhounds despite both suffering from serious medical problems.


Both animals were put down after an RSPCA inspector discovered them living in squalid conditions at Cox’s home in Middle Street, Yeovil, Somerset.


Prosecutor David Bell told Yeovil Magistrates’ Court that Cox had neglected the dogs.


He said: “This was not deliberate malevolence, but it is the RSPCA’s case that he has shown a serious level of disturbing neglect over a long period of time.”


The court heard that the National Greyhound Racing Club had withdrawn Cox’s training licence in 1997 because of the unsatisfactory condition of his premises.


But he continued to keep animals as pets, and when an RSPCA inspector called at his home in November last year she was concerned by the state of the animals and their surroundings, the court heard.


Mr Bell said: “The back yard was dirty, unkempt, decrepit and contaminated with faeces.


“The only water container had foul, black water and it was contaminated with algae.”


The court heard that one of the dogs, 12-year-old Snowy, was having great difficulty walking and had a swollen testicle.


Another dog, a 14-year-old female which Cox had not given a name to, had an extremely swollen, tender stomach but was so thin that her spine and pelvic bones were clearly visible, Mr Bell said.


Snowy was suffering from testicular cancer and the female probably had cancer of the liver, Mr Bell said.


A vet was called and he considered the kindest thing to do was to put the animals to sleep.


Mr Bell said: “He concluded the animals had suffered due to the failure of their owner to seek veterinary advice about severe illness and disease which would have been patently obvious.”


A third dog found at Cox’s home, a three-year-old female, had now been signed over to the care of the RSPCA, Mr Bell added.


Mr Bell said it was a case where the RSPCA urged the court to “seriously consider” using its power to disqualify Cox from keeping animals.


Sam Morton, defending, said Cox was no longer keeping any dogs.


He said: “He has no pets, he always used to keep animals as pets but he now accepts he won’t keep dogs again.


“He knows now he is probably incapable of providing the care they require.”


Sentence was adjourned until June 13 for the preparation of reports and Cox was granted unconditional bail.


Outside court, RSPCA inspector Marie Griffiths said the society and local authority had been trying to help Cox for many years.


She said: “He chose to ignore us for many years, believing he knew best. It is sad that these animals suffered because of that.”