A COUPLE who illegally docked their dogs’ tails causing them “extreme discomfort” have been banned from keeping canines for five years.
Joanne (50) and Wayne Glasby (37), of Cedric Crescent, Thurcroft, used docking rings to remove four terriers’ tails when they were around six-weeks-old.
Removing whole or part of a dog’s tail was banned in England and Wales in 2006 under the Animal Welfare Act.
The operation should only be carried out on certified working dogs within five days of a canine’s birth.
Mr Andy Cash, prosecuting on behalf of animal welfare charity the RSPCA, told Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday that the Glasby’s offending came to light when they advertised three terriers for sale online.
“By chance, a person who was looking at these photographs [in the advert] had a history as a vet and she thought she could see a docking ring and referred the matter to the RSPCA,” said Mr Cash.
The RSPCA visited the Glasbys on November 30 last year and found four puppies, aged around six to seven weeks, with docked tails (one of which is pictured below).
Mr Cash said a vet who inspected the dogs assessed that the operation had not been carried out by a qualified practitioner and took the view that it had been an “act of mutilation”.
“It was likely to have caused unnecessary pain which is anticipated to have lasted a few days,” said Mr Cash.
When Wayne Glasby was interviewed by police he admitted owning the puppies but denied docking their tails.
He said the operation had been carried out by a vet, but when efforts were made to trace the practitioner, it was discovered no such vet existed.
Joanne Glasby told officers she was also responsible for the puppies and denied knowing who was responsible for docking their tails.
“She thought it was just what was done to terriers,” said Mr Cash.
Both Glasbys pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and removing whole or part of a dog’s tail at a previous hearing at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.
Mitigating, Ms Helen White said the Glasbys had rehomed all of their terriers ahead of the court hearing but still had a 12-year-old lurcher that they were hoping to rehome within their family.
She said Joanne Glasby had no previous offences and the proceedings had had a traumatic effect on the couple.
Ms White said the Glasbys kept a smallholding which had a pony, sheep and lambs.
Both defendants were banned from keeping dogs for five years and each was ordered to pay £600 costs.
They were also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Deputy district judge Derek French said they were “serious offences”.
“There’s no doubt that these dogs would have been under extreme discomfort and that is not acceptable,” he added.
“It concerns me that you run a smallholding which you use to look after sheep and lambs but I don’t have any evidence in front of me about their welfare.”