Dogs Trust continues to be shocked by acts of cruelty that are inflicted on dogs across the UK. However, we strongly feel that the woefully inadequate penalties available for cruelty cases for conviction under the Animal Welfare Act only serve to protect those capable of such horrific crimes.
A person who injures or kills a dog can only be given a maximum custodial sentence of six months under the Animal Welfare Act. In comparison, changes to Dangerous Dog legislation earlier this year mean that the owner of a dog that injures or kills an assistance dog can be given a maximum custodial sentence of three years. This discrepancy in penalties highlights the urgent need for Defra to review animal cruelty sentences and introduce punishments that reflect the seriousness of these offences that are sadly carried out on a daily basis.
Dogs Trust is currently responding to the Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines consultation which includes a new draft guideline for animal cruelty offences. Once approved, this guideline will update the current one which has been in use since 2008. Whilst we agree the proposed changes to sentencing guidelines are important to help ensure realistic sentences are passed, more needs to be done to ensure that cruelty convictions are a deterrent. Therefore, we continue to urge Defra to take actions to protect all animals.
Cruel dog owner is condemned as 'extremely dangerous' after dragging his two pets on leads held through the windows of his CAR 'for miles' A cruel dog owner has been branded 'extremely dangerous' after he was seen apparently dragging his pets for miles on leads held through the windows of his car. Witnesses said the driver and two children inside the car held onto the pets from the the open windows as they took them for a walk in Sandhurst, Gloucester. 'I'm still thinking about it - it was horrible,' said one man, who saw the car. 'Worst thing was that the man was driving and asked two teens or children to drag the dogs.