A 27 year old man, who kept dogs for fighting, has been sentenced to 7 months imprisonment and banned from keeping dogs for 20 years.
Sean Ward was given the custodial sentence after having pled guilty to keeping three dogs for animal fighting and to possessing and sharing videos of animal fights.
Sara Shaw, Head of Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit said:
“Dog fighting is a cruel and wholly illegal act and I welcome today’s sentence and the granting of the order preventing Sean Ward from keeping dogs for 20 years.
“These dogs were caused terrible and unnecessary suffering with numerous wounds and scars.
"COPFS will continue to work to ensure those who participate in this barbaric practice are prosecuted and would encourage anyone who may have information on dog fighting to contact the police or Scottish SPCA."
Greenock Sheriff Court heard that on Friday 20 April 2018 a member of the public had her dogs in a farm field near Bishopton which is used as a dog exercise ground.
The witness had noticed Ward hanging about at a fence near the exercise run and that he had a black and white Jack Russell terrier and a tan and white lurcher with him. The Jack Russell was limping and had cuts and blood on its limbs, chest and a severe injury to its face.
Being concerned for the dog and suspecting it had been in a fight and needed veterinary treatment she decided to film the dog.
Following investigation Inspectors from the Scottish SPCA went to Ward’s home with a warrant on the 14 June 2018 along with officers from Police Scotland.
Ward was out at the time with two dogs. His partner confirmed that there had been a tan and white lurcher called Chance but it had been given away. Attempts were made to have Ward return to his home address but only one dog, a lurcher, came back. Inspectors seized a number of items including a mobile phone.
Inspectors returned the next day and Ward’s partner let them see Rosie, a Patterdale Terrier, who had scars on her face.
Rosie was taken to a SSPCA facility where she was examined by a vet. He found that the injuries were consistent with face to face fighting with a badger.
The vet viewed the film taken of the Jack Russell in the field. In his opinion these injuries were also consistent with face to face fighting with a badger.
The phone which was seized during the search was examined and a number of images and video were found.
The vet was shown a photograph of Ward with a dead deer, a white lurcher and a Jack Russell. His opinion was that that dog was the same dog as seen the witness’ video and that the Jack Russell and Rosie had been used in badger baiting.
A video of three dogs savaging a deer was also found where all present were urging the dogs to attack the helpless deer. A man can clearly be heard to say “Get him Chance”.