A police officer saw a pet owner leave his dog ‘hung’ from a fence by its leash in a Sunderland city centre street, a court heard.
Lee Colin Scott, 25, was in Norfolk Street with his three dogs, when he placed one of them – a black Staffordshire Bull Terrier – onto a fence, leaving it ‘dangling’ by its collar for several seconds, Sunderland magistrates heard.
The court was told a passing police officer witnessed what happened on Sunday, January 31, and the incident was also captured on a CCTV camera, with Scott also shown picking up the dog and forcibly sending it to the ground.
Scott pleaded guilty to wantonly or unreasonably doing an act to cause unnecessary suffering to a protected animal - but his solicitor insisted he had not hung the dog by its collar against the railings but had put it against the fence to untangle its leash from those of the other animals.
Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “The police officer sees what happens and sees the dog has been hung off the fence by its leash.
“He spoke to the defendant, who had three dogs with him. He said he was tangled and he had to lift him up to release him. The officer describes how he sees the defendant pick up one of his dogs, he picks it up by its neck and places it on the railings by its collar, with its legs dangling.”
In interview Scott told police he picked up the dog to untangle it and put it back down.
He said: “I held her there for seconds, her back legs were on the wall. It was a moment of frustration, I was homeless. I do admit causing suffering but I didn’t think so at the time.”
Mr Anderson added: “The extent of the dog hanging by its collar from its neck – the police said it was nine seconds.”
Peter Thubron, defending, said: “What he did was to pick the dog up and forcibly put it down on the ground, causing the dog shock, that’s what we accept. It’s not accepted that he hung the dog by its collar from the railings. He admitted he put it against the railings by its leash, to untangle the leash, because it was entangled in the leashes of the other dogs, It’s a long dog, and the only way was to stand it up against the railings. We are talking about two separate incidents. There was some unnecessary suffering caused.”
Scott, of Gill Crescent South, Fence Houses, was fined £140 with £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge. He was allowed to keep all three of his dogs.