A COUPLE have been banned from having pets after leaving a puppy to suffer when it was hit by a car and then dropped on the ground.
Lurcher puppy Bronson was left with a broken leg when he was hit by a car after chasing a cat outside his home, magistrates heard.
But owners Anthony Rickatson, 22, and Donna Krager, 32, simply put a bandage on the limb without getting him checked out by a vet.
Three weeks’ later Bronson was accidentally dropped as he was being passed over a fence by Krager’s children, landing on his poorly leg, leaving it dislocated and at a 45 degree angle.
But rather than take the pet to a vet, the owners took him to a third party who was to take it to the PDSA to get treatment for free because they were on benefits.
RSPCA inspector Helen Scott was called to an address in August in Sunderland where Bronson had been staying for five days.
Prosecutor Judith Curry told Sunderland magistrates: “It was apparent that this dog’s leg was broken. The leg was bent at the joint and was at a 45 degree angle from its body.”
The court was told Bronson was taken to be examined by a vet, who said the owners should have realised Bronson would have been in pain.
In interview Krager, a pregnant mum-of-four, and Rickatson said they had given the dog to the third party to get the free treatment, but for whatever reason this did not happen.
Rickatson said Bronson had chased the family cat out of the house three months before and that a car went over his right shoulder.
He had swelling to the paw, but they had not considered taking him to a vet.
Then two to three weeks later the dog had been passed over a park fence by the children when it was dropped. The front paw looked dislocated and twisted, he said.
Ms Curry said the dog was signed over to the RSPCA.
“He is with new owners now and has had a number of operations on his leg,” she added.
Krager and Rickatson, of Fourth Street, Blackhall Colliery, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Bronson between April 9 and July 9, under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
Gavin Sword, mitigating, said Krager had previously owned a dog for 16 years which was well cared for, but had recently died of cancer.
He admitted “a reasonable person” would have taken the dog to the vet.
Mr Sword said the couple had not taken Bronson to the vet after it was dropped as they were waiting for their benefit payments, which were not due for more than a week.
He told the court: “A reasonable person would not have done that. A reasonable person would have said ‘this dog needs treatment right away’.”
“They are both very upset and devastated about what has happened. They are gratified to see from the other set of photos that the dog has made a recovery.”
The couple were given six-month community orders with supervision and were told to pay a total of £800 in fines, victim surcharge and costs.
They were disqualified from keeping animals for five years and will not be able to appeal the ban for four years. As a result they will lose the family cat.