Abused dog faces lifelong emotional trauma as former owner gets 10 year animal ban

A dog may have been left with ‘life-long’ emotional impact after abuse suffered from his former owner, who now has a decade ban from keeping animals.

CCTV footage of a man striking, kicking and dragging his puppy by the neck led to Christopher Silverthorne being prosecuted by the RSPCA and banned for a decade for keeping animals.

The videos showed Ace, an eight-month-old white and brindle Boxer-type dog, being abused in the garden of a property in Swarcliffe Drive in Leeds by his owner.

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The footage, which was taken on March 25, this year, showed Silverthorne walking up the garden path and kicking Ace on his right hind leg, before hitting the puppy’s chest with his hand.

Ace recovering with the RSPCA waiting to be rehomedAce recovering with the RSPCA waiting to be rehomed
Ace recovering with the RSPCA waiting to be rehomed

The 21-year-old then grabbed the side of the Ace’s face and deliberately tipped over his water bowl, forcing him to drink from the floor.

More videos from April 19, this year, showed Silverthorne dragging Ace by his neck, on his hind legs, before hitting him twice in the face, leaving the puppy to cower in fear.

The RSPCA eventually received the CCTV footage and started an investigation.

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At a sentencing hearing at Kirklees Magistrates Court last Tuesday (Nov 28), Silverthorne was banned from keeping animals for ten years. He’d admitted two animal welfare offences at an earlier hearing.

Ace when he was rescued by the RSPCAAce when he was rescued by the RSPCA
Ace when he was rescued by the RSPCA

Magistrates’ heard how RSPCA inspector Adam Dickinson, accompanied by police, visited Silverthorne at his house on May 20 asking about the CCTV footage.

During the visit the officer described Ace as looking ‘very nervous’ and keeping his tail between his legs. Ace was ultimately taken by the RSPCA.

In his statement to the court, Insp Dickinson said: “I took Ace for an examination. Whilst waiting, he drank continuously for one minute and 27 seconds and whenever I made any sudden moves, he would react in a nervous manner and distance himself from me.

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“Following his clinical examination, he then drank continuously for a further one minute 41 seconds, clearing two bowls of remaining water.”

A vet who viewed the CCTV and gave evidence as part of the case said Silverthorne had inflicted harm on the puppy at least six times by striking, kicking and dragging him upwards by the neck.

The vet said she believes Ace may feel the ‘emotional impact’ the abuse has had on him for his whole life.

In her statement she said: “The owner caused unnecessary suffering on multiple accounts by inflicting pain on Ace. There was no reasonable explanation for these outbursts visible within the video footage.

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“The dog will have suffered momentarily during the hitting, kicking, dragging and throwing episodes, however the emotional impact may have a life-long effect. This is shown by Ace’s fear behaviours - cowering when approached, or running away from the person in the videos.

“It is likely Ace will have been in pain for several days after being hit and he will have suffered, at the very least, mild soft tissue injuries.”

The court heard how pictures of the puppy were also seen by the vet showing his visible ribs and two areas of hair loss. She said Ace was underweight, with a body score condition of only three out of nine, and that any reasonable owner would have sought veterinary attention.

Silverthorne, currently residing on Tarnside Drive, Seacroft, Leeds, acknowledged the discomforting nature of the videos. He expressed remorse as part of his mitigation, admitting that he should have provided better care for the puppy.

Ace has been in the care of the RSPCA since May and was signed over by the defendant in October, this year. He is doing well and will now be rehomed.

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