Leeds & West Yorkshire

Man jailed for beating and using cleaning products on dog

Smiler Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The American bulldog is now recovering well

A man who beat his pet American bulldog and used household cleaning products on her has been jailed for four months.

Gary Bell was also banned from keeping animals for life for the cruelty he inflicted on his dog, called Smiler.

RSPCA officers concerned about an issue with her eye found the dog barely conscious in the bath at his home.

Bell, 50, of Coronation Way in Keighley, West Yorkshire, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by inflicting trauma on her.

He was also found guilty on 3 December of failing to provide veterinary attention for her injuries and applying cleaning products to her head and eyes.

Bell was due to attend Bradford Magistrates' Court on 7 January but failed to appear and was arrested on warrant.

He then appeared before magistrates on 9 January, when he was sentenced and ordered to pay a £121 victim surcharge.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The dog was found barely conscious and cleaning products had been used on her, the RSPCA said

RSPCA inspector Sarah Bagley had called at Bell's house with a police officer, having concerns for the welfare of the dog and a condition it had called cherry eye.

"By the time I got her there her eyes were swollen shut," she said.

"She was found to have multiple injuries including two large wounds to the top of her head which needed to be stitched, bruising to the head and a loose tooth that needed to be removed. Her eyes were flushed to get rid of any cleaning product.

"A veterinary examination ruled that the injuries were not accidental and attempts to clean Smiler afterwards would have caused pain and suffering."

Ms Bagley said Bell "didn't offer any plausible explanation for Smiler's predicament - in interview he said that she had probably cut her head on barbed wire during a walk in the woods".

"She is recovering well, gaining weight, her skin and coat are improving and she seems to be a much brighter, happier dog," she said.

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