A man who abandoned two chihuahuas outside a supermarket has been jailed.
Stephen Hopkinson from Fleetwood in Lancashire has been been sentenced to four weeks in custody after he lost his appeal against convictions for animal cruelty.He was found guilty of three animal welfare offences and sentenced at Lancaster Magistrates’ Court in November (2021).
At that hearing Hopkinson was banned from keeping dogs indefinitely following the prosecution brought by the RSPCA.
His indefinite ban from keeping dogs was reduced to five years on appeal and he was ordered to pay £500 costs.
Mylo and Lily can now be found loving new homes after their owner lost his appeal atPreston Crown Court.
The court heard how the RSPCA’s investigation began after Inspector Amy McIntosh collected the two dogs from a member of the public who had rescued them after she found them tied up outside a supermarket.
She noticed Mylo, a male tan chihuahua type, had a skin condition. His skin was thickened, pink, flaky, scabby and bleeding on his legs, feet, stomach, chest and genital area.
He also had obvious fur loss and pinkness around his eyes and nose. He was biting and scratching at his skin and it was obviously irritating him.
Lilly, a black and white female chihuahua had very smelly breath due to dental issues butotherwise looked in normal body condition.
Inspector McIntosh took the dogs to a vet who examined them and prescribed Mylo with flea and skin treatments and a shampoo to help fight the infection in his skin.
The vet concluded Mylo had been suffering from his skin disease for at least three to six months.
Lilly needed an urgent dental procedure to remove loose teeth as she had dental disease.
Both dogs were microchipped which enabled the inspector to establish that Hopkinson was the owner of the pets.
The court heard how, when Hopkinson was questioned the following day, he told Inspector McIntosh he had returned to the supermarket to get the dogs that morning.
This meant that had the dogs not been removed by the passer-by they would have potentially been tied up outside for nearly 24 hours.
Following a trial last year, Hopkinson was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Mylo, failing to meet Lilly’s needs and failing to meet both dogs’ needs by leaving them unattended for an extended period without adequate care and supervision.
After the appeal hearing Inspector Mcintosh said: “I’m really pleased with the outcome of this case. These dogs have been in our care for such a long time now.”
“They are lovely friendly little dogs and I’m so pleased they will now be able to find the new home they deserve.”