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Thursday, 16 August, 2001, 16:29 GMT 17:29 UK
Jail for animal cruelty man
Holly in plastic bag
Holly was found in a plastic bag
A man has been jailed for three months after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a starving pedigree shih-tzu.

Seven-year-old Holly was trussed up with dog leads and abandoned in a four-foot culvert near a disused railway line in Shropshire on Boxing Day 2000.

She had been wrapped in a bin-bag and was found by a member of the public who heard her cries and alerted the RSPCA.

At Oswestry Magistrates Court on Thursday, 25-year-old Jonathan Maxfield, of Maple Avenue, Oswestry, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog between 11 and 21 December last year by failing to get proper and necessary care and attention.

Festering eye

He was jailed for three months and banned from keeping an animal for life.

Jonathan Maxfield outside court
Maxfield admitted causing unecessary suffering
Maxfield's partner Louise Swannick, 21, of Lime Grove, Oswestry, had earlier been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after admitting the same charge.

She was also ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid community work and fined 150.

Magistrates were told that Holly had a festering eye wound when she was found and eventually lost her right eye.

RSPCA inspector Barry Williams pulled Holly from the drain after being alerted by a concerned member of the public.

Mr Williams said: "I am thoroughly pleased with the result.

Undernourished dog

"This life ban is exactly what the RSPCA would wish and sends a clear message to those who cause suffering to animals that a severe penalty can result."

The court had heard that an RSPCA investigation had failed to establish who wrapped Holly in a bin liner and left her trussed up in the drainpipe.

Vets estimated that Holly had been undernourished for about two weeks before she was found.

The case attracted national media attention and a woman from Surrey offered a 2,000 reward for information about who was responsible for the dog's plight.

Holly lost her right eye but has made a full recovery and now has a new home.

Maxfield and Swannick had claimed that they did not appreciate the seriousness of the dog's injury and had searched for her when she went missing.

See also:

09 Jul 01 | UK
Couple admit animal cruelty
09 May 00 | Wales
Animal cruelty cases rise
20 Apr 99 | Sci/Tech
'Alarming' rise in animal cruelty
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