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A DOG owner was banned from keeping dogs for five years after allegedly being heard telling his pet to "kill" or "get" a cat, during a horrific attack.

The badly injured tabby called Squeak crawled home and its horrified owner called a vet, but the animal was "in agony" and had to be put down.

Former soldier Howard Rhys Jones, 22, admitted possessing a male pit bull terrier called Enzo, under the Dangerous Dogs Act between last May and August, and causing unnecessary suffering to a tabby and white tomcat. Llandudno Magistrates Courtcourt heard the attack happened on a path near Victoria Park in Llandudno Junction on or about July 2 last year.

Witnesses Kathleen Jones and Patricia Rowlands were walking on the path. Tudur Owen, representing the RSPCA, said Mrs Jones heard a male voice say "kill it, kill it" or "Get it, get it".

She heard a commotion, went round the path's corner and saw a dark, stocky dog, similar to a pit bull terrier, run into bushes.

Mrs Jones said: "I heard a cat, it must have been in agony. It was very distressed and making an awful noise." Mrs Rowlands reported hearing "the most awful, screeching noise".

Mr Owen said: "It was a vicious attack on this cat."

He warned magistrates to brace themselves because the photographs of the cat's injuries were so "harrowing".

But Graham Parry, defending, suggested Jones was telling a fellow dog walker to "get the dogs back." It acted "out of character".

The case was unusual because the charge of possession of the dangerous dog was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The causing unnecessary suffering charge was brought by the RSPCA.

For causing unnecessary suffering to an animal Jones was given an 18-month community order with a "thinking skills" course and 180-hours unpaid work.

Unemployed Jones, of Avallon Avenue, Llandudno Junction, must also pay pounds 300 costs and pounds 241.50 compensation.

He was fined pounds 100 and ordered to pay a pounds 15 victim's surcharge for owning the dangerous dog.

The dog must be entered into an Index of Dangerous Dogs, neutered, subject to identification requirements, insured, and muzzled and on a lead in public.

Mr Parry said the dog should not be destroyed and could live on the farm of Jones' mother, a horse breeder. A defence expert dubbed the dog "sociable" and magistrates were shown an album of photographs.

Chairman of the bench Reg Davis said: "Although we have some concerns about this dog going to live with Mrs Jones this is the only alternative and the RSPCA believe that this is the right course of action."

After the cause, Squeak's owner Caroline Roberts' sister Michelle Roberts said Caroline would be "happy" with the sentence.

Caroline, 38, was too upset to be in court.


Pit bull terrier called Enzo (main picture) attacked cat in Victoria Park, Llandudno Junction (above)
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2012
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