A dog breeder who dragged a dog behind her car at a speed of 30 mph, then failed to get the wounds to his paws and chest treated, has had all of her dogs confiscated and has been banned from keeping animals.
Deborah Fuller, 56, dragged her Rhodesian Ridgeback Tango for a quarter of a mile behind her car, near Long Melford, Essex, in the U.K.
The dog was left with injuries to all of his four paws, as well as with grazes on his stomach and a deep wound on his elbow.
1. Deborah Fuller has been banned from keeping animals after she dragged a dog behind her car, causing wounds as she drove at 30 mph.
The dog is believed to have somehow managed to escape from the trunk of Fuller’s car and was dragged along the road, because his lead was attached to the car’s tailgate.
Fuller denied causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by not taking the dog to the vets and failing to take steps to safely secure a dog within a vehicle. However, she was convicted after a hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.
She has also been banned from keeping animals for a period of five years and had her 27 other dogs confiscated.
Anthony Ealden, Chairman of the bench, said that if Tango had been taken to the vet earlier, any “unnecessary suffering” could have been avoided.
2. Tango was left with considerable injuries to his paws and stomach, as well as a deep elbow wound.
3. Tango, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, pictured before being injured by being dragged along the road.
We believe for whatever reason, known only to yourself, you had no intention of getting veterinary treatment as a matter of urgency.
We do not accept your reason for delaying treatment as reasonable.
The incident occurred on June 11, 2014, when Tango was observed being dragged along the road, behind Fuller’s car.
Landscapers working nearby saw what had happened and attempted to get Fuller, a Rhodesian Ridgeback breeder and exhibitor, to stop her car.
However, the driver didn’t stop until she reached the end of the road and workers took her registration number and reported her to the police, who called the RSPCA, the court heard.
4. The animal was taken to the vets and treated for the wounds, suffered when he was dragged along the road.
The dog was later found by inspectors at Fuller’s home with bandages on his paws. Tango was taken to a vet and given treatment for his injuries, which took eight weeks to heal.
Fuller stated that she had not been aware that the tailgate of her car had opened and claimed she had given her dog the first aid he needed and had already arranged for him to go to the vet when the police showed up.
Fuller’s defendant, Mike Fullerton, said:
When Deborah Fuller was being restrained she asked why she was not allowed to take the dog to the vet.
5. Judges ruled that the dog’s suffering could have been avoided if Fuller had taken him to the vets earlier.
After the sentencing, RSPCA inspector Sam Garvey said:
Eyewitnesses report they saw the dog being dragged about 400 meters at a speed of 30mph.
This must have been horrific for poor Tango. So painful, and so distressing.
It is hard to say what caused Tango to be dragged behind a moving car in this way, but by the time we found him, seven hours later, he was urgently in need of vet treatment.
He had injuries to the pads of all four feet, causing the black layer of skin to be removed. He also had grazing to his chest area and a nasty deep wound to his elbow and leg area.
It took a period of eight weeks to heal the wounds and for his skin to grow back over his pads so he could walk without discomfort.
6. Tango was removed from Fuller, along with more than 40 other dogs that were at her Essex home.
Fuller has also been ordered to pay ┬ú3,000 ($4,450) in costs, given a 12-month community order and a two-month curfew from 7pm to 7am. Tango has been taken to a vet for treatment and has made a full recovery in foster care.
The court also ruled all the animals owned by Fuller to be confiscated and they are currently in RSPCA care.
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