Dog-hunt man given pets ban.
Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
A MAN has been banned from keeping pets after he used his dog to hunt other animals.
Daniel Churchill was facing a potential prison sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher-type dog called Drift and failing to ensure the pet's welfare.
The offences came to light after Drift was found wandering the streets in November and was taken to a vet.
He had cuts on his face, neck, legs and body, and injuries consistent with a fight with another animal, such as a fox.
Churchill, 25, of Riversdale Terrace, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to two offences at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court. RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood said Churchill rang the vet to claim ownership of the dog but was told Drift had been seized by police and an investigation had been launched.
He claimed Drift had escaped from his kennel the night before he was found in the streets. Mr Haywood said a vet examined the pet and found scratch wounds to the shoulder, legs and face. Some scratches were three to four days old, while other injuries were up to 48 hours old.
During the investigation, it was found the defendant's Facebook account had references and pictures glorifying the hunting of animals with dogs. One photo was of a dog chasing a fox, another of a dog with a fox biting it and one image showed a dead fox.
The court was told that Drift had now been rehomed.
Tom Morgan, defending, said: "The pictures from the Facebook account - the defendant says they were in fact from a disused Facebook account.
"He did not and does not accept those pictures depict the animal in this case.
"He has made efforts to try and retrieve the dog. He accepts by way of guilty plea that he has not been caring for the animal as he should be. He has to accept he will not get that animal back."
Magistrates imposed an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered Churchill to carry out a rehabilitation programme.
He was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years and asked to pay more than PS500 in court costs.
| Drift was found injured and wandering the streets but has now been rehomed and right, Daniel Churchill