Man drowned dog in Norwich river by wrapping her legs in a rucksack so she couldn't swim to safety
PUBLISHED: 06:59 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:56 09 November 2017
A man drowned his Staffordshire bull terrier in a river after wrapping her legs in a rucksack so she was unable to swim to safety, a court heard.
Missy the dog was later found by a member of the public drowned near Hellesdon Bridge, with her legs wrapped in a navy rucksack and her body swaddled in a dark green jacket.
Her head was left exposed, Norwich magistrates heard.
Paul Croker, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said a veterinary post-mortem examination revealed the dog died from drowning.
“It was alive and breathing when put in the river,” he said.
“As it was bound up, it was unable to swim to safety.”
He said the dog, which was about five to seven years old, was found to have number of tumours on its body, including a large one on its belly.
He said inquiries led them to interview Wayne Waithe, who admitted he had a dog, but said it had died.
Mr Croker said Waithe, 59, then refused to be interviewed and became aggressive, asking officers to leave his property.
Mr Croker said the RSPCA considered the case as serious and asked that Waithe be banned from keeping pets in future.
“The RSPCA’s view is that this individual should not be trusted with animals,” he said.
Waithe, of Gentry Place, Norwich, admitted causing unnecessary suffering by drowning the dog on May 9 this year.
Waithe claimed he thought Missy was dead when he put her into the water, but this was rejected by magistrates.
Chairman of the bench Jim Agnew said: “We think you deliberately drowned the dog because you did not want to pay for it to be put down.”
He imposed a six-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and also imposed a 10-year ban on him keeping animals.
He was also ordered to pay £200 towards costs and pay a £93 vets bill, as well as a £115 victim surcharge.
Andrew Cogan, for Waithe, said he believed the dog had died.
“She was not in the best of health,” Mr Cogan said.
“There were a number of hernias. He thought the dog had died peacefully in its sleep. He thought the dog was dead.
“He did not deliberately intend to cause suffering.”