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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grandmother convicted of animal cruelty and made to wear electronic tag... for being too upset to put elderly dog down

-Pensioner 'blinded by love' for faithful pet

By Daily Mail Reporter

A distraught grandmother has been hauled into court and ordered to wear an electronic tag - because she couldn't face having her elderly dog put down.

Devastated Pauline Spoor was so attached to her chocolate labrador Dexter she couldn't bring herself to have him destroyed, even though the frail animal was nearly 18 years old and struggled to walk.

The RSPCA broke into her home and, after finding the dog with numerous medical problems, charged 71-year-old Mrs Spoor with causing unnecessary suffering to her loyal companion.

Dexter, who had been suffering from fur loss, arthritis and conjunctivitis, was put to sleep by a vet the day after he was found.

After being hauled in front of Tameside magistrates, retired cashier Mrs Spoor was spared jail but ordered to wear a tag and given a nine-hour daily curfew.

Divorcee Mrs Spoor admitted an animal cruelty charge and said she was 'blinded by love' for her pet after being fined £250 costs and given the three-month curfew.

She was told by magistrates she must remain at home between 9pm and 6am and must also complete a community order.

Mrs Spoor, who had her other dog Gizmo returned to her, said she had Dexter for 11 years after rescuing him from abandonment and that the animal had become her 'best friend'.

She said: 'I know I've done wrong but I feel absolutely humiliated at having to wear a tag as if I am some common criminal. It just seems so over the top.

'I was simply guilty of being too blinded by love to deal with the reality of the situation as regards my Dexter.

'I've never hurt an animal in my life and it really hurt my feelings that they would accuse me of neglecting the dog when I just couldn't bear to part with him. He was a fantastic dog.

Elderly: Dexter was suffering from fur loss, arthritis and conjunctivitis when the vet examined him

'To be given a tag, I thought was disgusting. I always thought they gave people an electronic tag if they've got an Asbo or if they are some kind of violent yob.'

Mrs Spoor claimed she received the same three-month punishment as a man who had threatened her son with an axe.

She added: 'The bottom line is I am 71 years old and a granny who only goes out to walk her dogs. I'm not some drink-crazed lager lout who goes clubbing every weekend and starts a fight but I feel like I'm being treated like one.

'To make me wear a tag to stop me going out at night seems pointless.

'I knew I was wrong for not putting him to sleep and there's no excuse, but I thought as long as his tail was still wagging and he was still wanting to come out to the field with me, I could wait a few more days.'

JPs were told Mrs Spoor was looking after both her dogs as well as her son's Staffordshire Bull Terrier Angel when an RSPCA officer visited on May 4 this year.

The inspector first saw the dogs through a window but were unable to contact Mrs Spoor who was out and they returned with police to break in and rescue the pets.

Miss Angela Fitzpatrick, defending, said: 'She had not intended to cause the dog to suffer but a lack of forethought and experience as to what should have been done was to blame.'

Guilty plea: Mrs Spoor admitted an animal cruelty charge at Tameside Magistrates Court, Manchester, after becoming too attached to Dexter to have him put down



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