It happens to all dog owners: sooner or later, your dog will toilet inside the house. It results in annoyance and sometimes in some shouting, but some owners sadly go as far as hitting their dog – sometimes subjecting them to a prolonged attack.
This is what happened to Sooty, a crossbreed whose attack at the hands of his owner Martin Johnson, of Wenlock Walk, Grassmoor, was recorded by a member of the public. The audio recording was handed to the RSPCA and, while upsetting to listen to, proved to be vital in the court case against Johnson. In the audio recording Sooty can be heard whimpering, while Johnson is shouting.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Leafe said, “The audio isn’t very nice at all. It lasts for around five minutes and Sooty can clearly be heard squealing and whimpering loudly while being beaten, and Johnson can be heard shouting and delivering blows to the dog.
“It would have been difficult for someone to have to listen to the beating, however we are grateful that they had the initiative to record it as it gave us the evidence we needed to prosecute.”
Sooty was taken into the care of the RSPCA, and was found to have a fractured toe as well as lumps on his spine and on the top of his head.
“What it came down to was the fact that Sooty was going to the toilet inside the flat. Johnson said in interview that he gave the dog ‘a bit of a pasting’ as a result, and that he went ‘over the top’,” Leafe said. “He also said in interview that he grabbed the dog by his testicles and said, ‘You don’t like that, do you?’. He later called our national cruelty helpline and admitted the incidents, that he had also pinned Sooty down by his ears to ‘incapacitate’ him, and that it was because he was always messing in the flat.
“What Sooty went through would have been horrific and he would have been terrified to be around Johnson. But despite what he went through, Sooty is a lovely dog. Johnson told us that he was aggressive, but since he has been in our care he hasn’t shown any nasty traits at all. Sooty is so friendly and we hope he will find a lovely new home soon.”
Johnson was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to pay £315 in total as well as receiving an eight-year ban on keeping animals. This means he has to sign over his other dog, called Pearl, to the RSPCA.