Dorset man sentenced after repeatedly beating puppy to the head

A man from Dorset who was seen beating an eight-month-old puppy outside a store has been banned from owning an animal for up to five years.

Martin Thomas admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure the needs of an animal for which he was responsible were met.

The act happened around 6pm on February 12 when officers were called to reports of a man beating his Husky dog by repeatedly punching it in the head outside Tesco Express on Bournemouth Road.

Thomas, aged 37, of Bournemouth Road, Poole, was sentenced at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Monday (26 April).

After enquiries were carried out, officers located Thomas at his address nearby and due to the concerns that had been raised the dog was seized using powers under the Animal Welfare Act.

It was then taken to a vet, where is was confirmed the dog had sustained bruising

Officers carried out further enquiries and obtained CCTV, which showed the defendant beating his eight-month-old puppy repeatedly to the head – causing it to urinate and defecate over the pavement outside the store.

Thomas was interviewed and subsequently charged with the animal welfare offences.

He was originally due to appear at court on April 16, but failed to attend and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The warrant was executed on April 25 and he appeared at court the following day.

Thomas was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with a requirement to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and a 14-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was also ordered to pay compensation totalling more than £1,300 toward vets and animal rescue bills.

Thomas was also made the subject of an order under section 34 of the Animal Welfare Act, prohibiting him from keeping animals for five years. He is not able to apply to terminate the order for at least three years.

The court passed a further order under section 35 of the Animal Welfare Act that enabled the dog to be taken into the care of Dorset Police.

Police Constable Hillier, Dorset Police’s Dog Legislation Officer, said: “Thanks to the outstanding investigation work of the officers involved in this case, we were able to quickly identify Martin Thomas as the man responsible for this violent assault on a defenceless animal so he could be brought before the court and held accountable for his actions.

“I would also like to thank the RSPCA for its advice and guidance during this complex case.

“Finally, I want to praise the local animal rescue charity which has looked after the dog while the investigation took place. The dog will now be matched to a suitable new home so it can live the life it deserves, free from the fear of unnecessary suffering.”