A CRUEL dog owner has been given a life-long ban on keeping animals.
John Riseborough, from Pennywell in Sunderland, was also given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to three charges of animal cruelty.
A court heard that one of his dogs had to be put down and another needed emergency surgery after he ignored their obvious medical problems.
Jess, a tan collie, had one eye bulging out of her head due to a painful eye condition, and collie Flash was suffering from testicular cancer.
Sunderland Magistrates’ Court also heard both dogs were infested with fleas and had lost patches of fur.
A concerned member of the public called the RSPCA after noticing the dogs looked ill.
Clive McKeag, prosecuting for the animal charity, told Sunderland Magistrates’ Court that Jess had to be put down, but Flash had recovered and now had a new home.
Riseborough, from Sunderland, said he did not want to take the animals to a vet in case they were put down.
The court heard that he drank heavily, often downing 12 cans in a day, and had problems with debt.
James Palmer, defending, said the vet’s report did not say whether an operation would have saved Jess.
He added: “She said the pain or discomfort would have been no longer than three weeks.
“She does not say if the dogs were brought in earlier, whether they would have survived or not.
“She said the other dog, Flash, would have been in discomfort for a minimum of three months.”
Riseborough would have taken the dogs to a vet if they had shown they were in pain, he said.
Mr McKeag called on magistrates to ban the former forklift truck driver from owning animals.
He said: “The main reason the RSPCA chases up these matters is not so someone gets punished, but so it does not happen again.
“If you can’t look after two dogs, to the extent one of them has to be put to sleep, then a person who can do that should not look after any animals at all.”
Magistrates gave Riseborough, of Porchester Road, a life-time ban on owning animals.
He was also made subject to a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for two years and a two-year community order.
He must also pay £500 towards the RSPCA’s court costs.