Man jailed for cruelty after dog found beaten and bloody in bath

  • WARNING - Some viewers may find images in Emma Wilkinson's report above upsetting.

An RSPCA inspector concerned for the welfare of an American bulldog found the animal bloodied and beaten in a bath in a house in Keighley.

Smiler was barely conscious when found with multiple injuries, including two large wounds to the top of her head which needed to be stitched, bruising to the head and a loose tooth that needed to be removed.

Sarah Bagley was further shocked to find that both human shampoo and Flash household cleaner had been used on the dog, causing her eyes to be swollen shut.

Gary Bell from Coronation Way in Keighley has been jailed for 16 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life after being convicted of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act, in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.

At a trial he was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Smiler by inflicting trauma on her, failing to provide veterinary attention for her injuries and applying cleaning products to her head and eyes.

Ms Bagley said she had gone to Bell’s home with police after having a couple of dealings with him about his dog Smiler, who had a condition called cherry eye, and becoming increasingly concerned about her.

Initially there was no reply, then myself and one of the police officers heard heavy breathing through the ground floor bathroom window. I was horrified to see Smiler in the bath with a bloodied tea towel on her head. Between us we were able to get her out of the flat and I rushed her straight to a local vet practice. Bell didn’t offer any plausible explanation for Smiler’s predicament - in interview he said that she had probably cut her head on barbed wire during a walk in the woods.

RSPCA Inspector Sarah Bagley

An examination ruled that the injuries were not accidental and attempts to clean Smiler afterwards would have caused pain and suffering.

Smiler spent a week under treatment and supervision at the vets during which time she slowly started to recover. She is now gaining weight, her skin and coat are improving and she seems to be a much brighter, happier dog. The cherry eye is being monitored on vet advice at the moment.

Smiler is now well on the mend Credit: RSPCA

Smiler is currently being cared for by the staff at RSPCA Sheffield and will be put up for adoption soon.

Anyone who is interested in offering an RSPCA rescue dog a new home can to find their perfect match.