Wrexham father and son admit neglecting dogs

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A FATHER and son have admitted neglecting their dogs after keeping them without water and in a house littered with smashed glass.

One pet had to be put down after police called in the RSPCA amid serious concerns about their welfare, a court was told.

Anthony Michael Gough, 26, and Colin David Gough, 64, admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a black Schipperke bitch and a male Yorkshire terrier.

The two men, both of Hampden Way, Acrefair, initially denied the charges but changed their plea at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday.

Glen Murphy, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said police called them to the house on November 17. RSPCA Inspector Chris Dunbar went into the property to find broken glass from smashed bottles on the floor, no water for the animals and a tumour “the size of a tennis ball” on the Schipperke’s face.

Mr Murphy said the dogs were taken to a vet in Ellesmere to be examined. “The tumour on the dog was inoperable and a decision was made that this dog ought to be put to sleep.”

The RSPCA requested permission from Gough junior to euthanase the dog but he refused, claiming the dog belonged to his father.

In the end the RSPCA got a legal certificate from the police to put the dog down.
Vet David Martin estimated the animal had been suffering for about two months.

The Yorkshire terrier, although in a better condition, suffered from alopecia on its thighs which could have easily been treated by a vet, said Mr Martin.

Since the visit on November 17, the pair got a St Bernard dog in December and already had another Yorkshire terrier.

Mr Murphy said the prosecution would be asking for costs of £3,094.51.

Andrew Holmes, defending, said Gough senior worked as a security consultant which meant at times he would be away from home and only able to pop in once or twice a week.

But both men accepted joint responsibility for the dogs.

The court heard the Yorkshire terrier they admitted neglecting was now in the care of the RSPCA.

Mr Holmes added: “It’s not a case of deliberate harm. They didn’t want to face up to the fact the dog could be euthanased. It’s not deliberate animal cruelty.”

Magistrates asked for the probation service to prepare a pre-sentence report and said all options would remain open.

They would also consider orders to deprive the Goughs of the two dogs they have and to disqualify them from owning dogs or pets in future.

The pair will return to the court on April 23 for sentence.

See full story in the Leader

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