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Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Case Images: 1 files available
Defendant/Suspect: Richard Penrice
A man who thought his dog had cancer as it wasted away and could not walk has been prosecuted for causing it unnecessary suffering.
Richard Penrice, 52, of Deacon Way, Banbury, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Tanty, a greyhound, and was given a conditional discharge by Banbury magistrates on March 19, 2007.
Penrice was also ordered to pay £1,500 costs, but his solicitor successfully argued that he should not be banned from keeping animals.
Tamwyn James, prosecuting for the RSPCA, had asked for a disqualification after telling the court that in June 2006, Tanty was discovered in an emaciated condition and could hardly walk.
She said Penrice confirmed that he had owned the dog, named Tanty, for 14 years and that she had started to lose weight four or five weeks previously.
Ms James said Penrice told RSPCA inspector Nickie Cooke he thought the dog had cancer and was going to die, but had not taken the animal for veterinary treatment.
Ms James said the dog was taken to kennels where she put on weight and was later rehomed.
She asked for Mr Penrice to be disqualified from keeping animals, and asked for a total of £5,106 in costs.
Nick Cotter, defending, said the issue was more complicated than it seemed.
He said: "Mr Penrice has two other dogs, three ferrets, and 12 chickens. He has never been in trouble and has owned dogs since he was seven or eight.
"Mr Penrice is a member of the Lurcher Search Organisation that rescues lost dogs, and has himself rescued several animals.
"Tanty showed no signs of suffering. She was not making any noises, and she was eating well - the same diet as his two healthy dogs.
"Mr Penrice admits he should have taken the dog to the vet and that is why he pleaded guilty, but the RSPCA's vet could find no obvious cause for the weight loss."
The RSPCA agreed that Penrice's other dogs were in perfect condition. Magistrates said the RSPCA had admitted they were not worried about the health of the other dogs and sentenced Penrice to a two-year conditional discharge.