A cruel dog owner has been caught on camera beating, kicking and threatening his pet with weapons.
Alan Davison, 46, was filmed on nine occasions by a neighbour, who was so horrified that she screamed at him to stop and contacted police.
South Shields Magistrates Court heard how the 46-year-old’s treatment of the friendly-looking Staffordshire bull terrier is likely to have caused lasting psychological harm.
Davison narrowly avoided jail after being handed a suspended prison term and has been banned from keeping animals for ten years.
John Ellwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The basic facts are that he caused suffering to his Staffordshire bull terrier by hitting, kicking and frightening the dog.
‘The defendant’s conduct came to light as a result of the caring conduct of a neighbour, who lives out the back of the defendant.
‘She saw the defendant in his back garden, abusing his dog and reported it to the police.
‘The police delegated the investigation to the RSPCA who visited the defendant.
‘At that time the evidence from the neighbour was merely a complaint and as a result the defendant was warned about his conduct and given advice.
‘He claimed at the time that he was merely reprimanding his dog.’
Mr Ellwood said Davison did not listen to advice and the neighbour began to get more and more concerned as she witnessed the defendant beating his dog on regular occasions.
He said: ‘She decided that when she heard the dog yelping she would video the conduct and she did so on nine occasions.
‘These videos show the defendant kicking his dog, hitting his dog, throwing water on his dog and threatening his dog with weapons.
‘The behaviour is most bizarre. On some of the videos, it can be seen that the dog is being hit and then being coaxed back to the defendant and then being hit again.
‘On occasions it has been seen that the dog has been thrown into the house and has been yelping.
‘As the witness explains, the defendant’s conduct is contradictory and confusing to the dog and must have had severe psychological impact upon it.
‘It hardly needs a vet to say that this conduct caused suffering, but a vet has viewed the videos and has commented that the physical abuse would have caused soft tissue trauma of bruising, pain and discomfort…
‘…but the ongoing fear would be psychological suffering, which some dogs never recover from.’
‘As a result of all this, the RSPCA interviewed the defendant, who at first denied that he had done anything wrong, but then when he was told there were videos, he admitted he was in the wrong.’
Davison, of Lynthorpe, Sunderland, was found guilty in his absence at an earlier hearing of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and two counts of failing to ensure animal welfare, between June 30 and July 14, 2017.
Tony Southwick, defending, said Davison suffers from mental health problems and has sought assistance from his GP.
‘Given the matter before the court it will no longer be possible for him to have an animal and he regrets that because, in his words, that was his only company at the time.
‘He accepts the animal can’t return to him and he is more than happy for the dog to be signed over, but he regrets not having the company.
‘I was surprised to see the level of his problems in the pre-sentence report. These were actions bourne out of his condition.’
Davison was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
He was banned from keeping animals for 10 years and will not be able to apply to have the order lifted for five years.
Davison was also told to take part in 25 days of activity specified by the Probation service and pay £300 costs and a £115 surcharge.