A ‘cruel’ dog owner has been banned from keeping animals for a decade after he repeatedly battered his Labrador puppy and yelled: ‘Do you want to be punched again?’
James Spencer, 33, was filmed striking Budd, before picking him up and ‘throwing’ him in his van, where he rained down further blows, a court heard.
Witnesses saw five separate and similar incidents outside his home on Lindon Road in Brownhills, West Midlands.
A judge concluded Spencer, said to have learning difficulties, did not have the ‘skills to deal or cope’ with a young animal and acknowledged the defendant’s ‘vulnerabilities’.
But he described his assaults as ‘appalling, cruel and violent’.
Spencer pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
He was sentenced on Monday to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Spencer was also ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity days and pay £500 in costs.
The incidents took place between June 1 and July 25 last year, typically in the parking area near his home, the court was told.
Prosecutor Sara Pratt said one witness saw Spencer strike the dog on three separate occasions and filmed the third.
Ms Pratt added: ‘The defendant was seen to be calling to Budd who didn’t come to him. He only approached when the defendant lay on the floor.
‘This defendant picked the dog up struck him, then repeatedly slapped him in the van.
‘The dog was thrown into the van and he was seen to repeatedly punch the dog. The footage was sent to the RSPCA.
‘The defendant was heard to say: “Do you want to be punched again do you? Do you want to be punched again?”’
Spencer voluntarily surrendered the Budd, who was examined in September and found to be ‘bright, alert and friendly’.
But the puppy was observed to be ‘passive’ when picked up, possibly due to a ‘history of negative encounters’, the prosecutor said.
Spencer initially claimed he would only smack Budd once on the nose if he was ‘naughty’ before confessing to the full extent of his abuse.
District Judge Jonathan Straw said: ‘I have watched the video. What was evident was a significant degree of inadequacy on part of the defendant.
‘He initially was seen using conventional methods to call and cajole the dog.
‘Then, when, unsurprisingly, the dog didn’t obey his commands he became frustrated, which spiralled to anger and he meted physical chastisement by way of punches.
‘This wasn’t cruelty from the start. It was a consequence of him simply not having the skills to deal with or cope with a puppy or any dog and becoming angry and frustrated as a consequence of the dog not obeying him.’
Pallo Bailey, mitigating, said Spencer had a number of ‘difficulties’ and was unable to work after falling from a ladder.
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