A young father-to-be who punched his dog and left it with a burst eardrum has avoided jail but been banned for life from keeping animals.
Shaun Taylor, 21 of Fowler Close, Scholes, was given a curfew, a rehabilitation order and was ordered to pay £785 after magistrates heard horrifying evidence of the severe beating he carried out on his Staffordshire terrier Rosie.
The court heard how back in May, Taylor’s neighbour had called police after being awoken by a “loud disturbance” which sounded like fighting, followed by a dog yelping.
The neighbour was so disturbed by the noises made by the dog that they called officers who arrived shortly after to see a silhouette of a man in the window and heard someone shout “get in there and stay in there”.
Anna McDonald, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told Wigan magistrates: “When asked what was going on he said he had been hitting his dog because it had been defecating all over the floor. Then he slammed the door shut.
“He could see the Staffie cowering and shaking and bleeding coming from the dog’s right ear.”
When officers arrested Taylor, they saw that his hands were “swollen and red” from where he had been beating Rosie.
Ms McDonald also told the court that Rosie was limping heavily on her right leg following the beating.
An examination carried out by RSPCA vet, also named Shaun Taylor, discovered bruising to Rosie’s gums and lips and a burst eardrum,
Defence solicitor Bob Topping explained that although the eardrum could have been burst by blunt force, it was difficult to establish whether it had been damaged due to an ear infection which Taylor tried to treat himself by pushing cotton buds into the dog’s ear.
“It’s difficult to talk to Mr Taylor about this offence, he gets really upset about it,” said Mr Topping. “He bitterly regrets what has happened to this dog which he cared for. It’s not a long course of ill treatment.
“He should have gone to the vet quicker than he did, they are not that cheap to see, they charge a considerable amount.”
The court also heard from members of the probation team, who described Taylor as a “vulnerable” individual who suffers from a number of mental health problems including anxiety and depression.
The probation worker told magistrates that Taylor has been through the care system due to suffering abuse at the hands of both of his parents and was “motivated to engage” with the help offered to him through various services.
Speaking to Taylor, magistrate chairman Karen Moore said: “You have a duty of care towards this animal. Such treatment of an animal can never been justified.”
Taylor was sentenced to 18 days of rehabilitation activity requirement as well as a 12-week curfew from 7pm to 7am. He also received a lifetime ban from owning an animal.
The court heard that the dog has since been rehomed and has recovered well from its traumatic experience.