A pet owner mutilated his puppy when he tried to dock its tail – using rubber bands.
Liam Jones was banned for keeping dogs for two years after he used crimping pliers and a rubber band to try to chop the tail of his Cocker Spaniel pup Max.
The 25-year-old was ‘used to docking lambs’ tails and ‘didn’t see any different in applying the same method to his 15-week-old puppy’ – according to RSPCA inspector Dave Grant.
Mr Grant added: “He claimed his previous dog had suffered a de-gloving tail injury, which is when the skin is torn away, and he wanted to prevent Max going through the same.
“When we removed Max from the home, he had an orange elastic band wrapped tightly around his tail.
“It was 1.5ins from the base of his tail and the remainder of the tail was withered almost to the point of falling off.
“I touched his tail and he yelped – he was obviously in pain.”
Tail docking is illegal under the Animal Welfare Actt 2006 unless for medical purposes.
Certified working dogs of certain types can be exempted from this ban but only a vet can carry out the procedure and it must be done before the puppy is five days old.
Max was rescued from Jones’ home on July 22 and signed over to the RSPCA to be rehomed.
Jones, from Tenterden in Kent, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a puppy by attempting to dock his tail at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
Inspector Grant said: “While Mr Jones told us that Max was intended to be a working dog, he was not registered with any groups.
“He also admitted that he was unaware of the laws around tail docking and had used crimping pliers to apply the rubber band to Max’s tail.”
“Tail docking is illegal under the Animal Welfare Act. It is a painful process, can impact on how dogs communicate and is often wholly unnecessary.
“We do not believe any animals should be mutilated for cosmetic purposes and that removing part or all of the tail should only be done for medical reasons.”
Jones was handed a community order of 200 hours of unpaid work and 20-day rehabilitation activity requirements to include the RSPCA’s pilot intervention programme for offenders.
He was banned for keeping dogs for two years and ordered to pay £385 in costs and charges.