Dog ban for woman who caused suffering

By Carmelo Garcia   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Monday 1st November 2021 12:00 pm
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A WOMAN from the Forest has been banned from keeping dogs for two years after being found guilty of causing "unnecessary suffering" to her former pet.

Sarah Poppleton, from Drybrook, has been prosecuted by Forest of Dean District Council (FODDC) for neglecting the "urgent" health needs of a border collie named Tilly.

Ms Poppleton failed to attend court on the June 30 this year to answer charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, but the case was heard and proven in her absence.

She appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on Wednesday (October 20) for sentencing, and was disqualified from keeping or looking after dogs for two years and ordered to pay a total of £707 in fines.

Female border collie Tilly was originally signed over by Ms Poppleton to the Forest of Dean Dog Rescue, who later notified the district council’s Street Warden Team of the condition of the dog.

Tilly was found to be in poor condition with "an overwhelming smell" coming from her mouth.

She was also "crawling" with fleas and it was noted she was critically overweight.

After receiving veterinary care, Tilly underwent urgent dental work, requiring 20 teeth to be extracted.

It later transpired that Ms Poppleton was advised 12 months prior to the surrendering of Tilly that dental work was required, but "failed to take steps" to seek veterinary attention.

The council said this delay "would have caused suffering to the dog".

Ms Poppleton "did show remorse" at sentencing and explained at court that she had experienced changes in her personal circumstances, which had "significantly contributed" to her inability to care for the dog.

The prosecution was undertaken by Forest of Dean District Council’s Legal Services team, working with the Street Wardens Team and Counter Fraud Unit (CFU).

Forest of Dean District Council’s Animal Welfare Member Champion, Councillor Nicky Packer, said:

"It is very sad that poor Tilly has suffered such neglect.

"Sometimes owners can’t manage their pet’s needs, or the neglect is due to other problems in the owner’s life.

"A dog is totally dependent on their owner and will suffer the consequences if their owner can’t cope.

"Giving a dog up for rehoming is not something to do lightly because it causes a dog distress but I would urge people to do so if they cannot meet the dog’s needs.

"Most importantly, people should think long and hard before buying a dog as to whether they can provide for it adequately, especially if it develops health problems in future."

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