Decade-long ban for Todmorden man who left dogs fighting in filthy backyard
A Todmorden man who left his dogs to fight in a filthy yard has been disqualified from keeping animals following a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.
Daniel McCloud, 27, of Bankside, Todmorden has been sentenced at Bradford Magistrates’ Court after he pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences at an earlier hearing back in February.
The court heard how there had been prolonged neglect and suffering to his three dogs - two Staffordshire bull terrier type dogs Elvis and Banksy, and Panda, a cross breed type dog - after they were kept in a dirty back yard for long periods of time and in all weather conditions.
Local residents often heard and witnessed the dogs regularly fighting with each other.
One concerned witness said they could hear the dogs becoming more distressed and agitated. Another reported the dogs would regularly be barking and howling all day.
Excrement was all over the yard often covering the dogs’ paws and witnesses described how this could be smelt from the side road.
During the court hearing RSPCA Inspector Demi Hodby who led the investigation for the animal welfare charity described the day she was called to the property following reports of dogs fighting each other.
She said: said: “I received a call from our National Control Centre to attend an emergency incident where it was said there were dogs fighting. It wasn’t difficult to locate the address as I could hear the dogs fighting from down the road. The noises I could hear were horrific. It consisted of barking and loud high pitched squealing and yelping.
“When I arrived I saw Elvis and Panda were covered in blood and I feared that if the dogs were not separated from each other they were going to cause more significant injury to each other - I feared for Panda’s life. I called for assistance from the police who used bolt cutters to access the yard.”
She described how further police officers had to attend the location and intervene when McCloud became aggressive. Officers at the scene helped Demi to remove the dogs and get them to a place of safety.
A vet at the charity’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital who examined the three dogs said in his report that he found Panda’s claws were worn down suggesting they were in contact with hard ground. He also found her nails and were oozing blood. Her coat was soiled with mud and she had a graze to her right shoulder.
In his report the vet went on to state that Banksy had a small bite wound and Elvis had to be sedated before his wounds could be safely examined.
All three dogs were admitted to the hospital and had their wounds treated and received their vaccinations and flea treatment. Banksy was also pregnant when she came into the charity’s care and she has since given birth to puppies. All her pups have since been found loving new homes.
Mitigation was put forward that at the time of the offences, McCloud was suffering from depression and he accepted he had not been able to look after the dogs properly.
In addition to the 10-year disqualification from keeping all animals, which he can not contest for three years, magistrates sentenced McCloud to a 12-month community order requiring 120 hours of unpaid work and 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days. He was also ordered to pay £300 costs and a victim surcharge of £95.
In sentencing the defendant, the Chair of the Bench told McCloud that, whilst he had not gone to prison, it had been very close to him doing so and the sentence imposed was a direct alternative to custody.