Animal ban for Horncastle woman who let her dog suffer

Ned was put to sleep on medical grounds after owner Vicki Ann Ball allowed him to get into a horrific state. Picture: RSPCA.
Ned was put to sleep on medical grounds after owner Vicki Ann Ball allowed him to get into a horrific state. Picture: RSPCA.

A woman from Horncastle has been disqualified from keeping animals for five years after allowing a cockerpoo called Ned to suffer.

Vicki Ann Ball, 37, appeared before Lincoln Magistrates’ Court last week (Monday March 11) for sentencing.

Ned was put to sleep on medical grounds after owner Vicki Ann Ball allowed him to get into a horrific state. Picture: RSPCA.

Ned was put to sleep on medical grounds after owner Vicki Ann Ball allowed him to get into a horrific state. Picture: RSPCA.

At a previous hearing she pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to Ned under the Animal Welfare Act 2006*.

RSPCA inspector Kate Burris said: “On June 24, Ball took Ned to a dog rescue and signed him over to them.

“The dog rescue took him to a vet, where he was found to be suffering and put to sleep immediately on welfare grounds.

“He was in a shocking state - he was collapsed with open wounds that were maggot infested. His coat was matted and covered in urine and faeces.”

Ned was put to sleep on medical grounds after owner Vicki Ann Ball allowed him to get into a horrific state. Picture: RSPCA.

Ned was put to sleep on medical grounds after owner Vicki Ann Ball allowed him to get into a horrific state. Picture: RSPCA.

In interview, Ball denied that Ned belonged to her. She said she had owned him from 2013 but had given him away in January, February or March last year ‘free to a good home’ on Facebook. She couldn’t provide any evidence of this.

She said she came home on the June 24 to find him on her lawn in a mess, and after trying to wash him and cut out the matts, realised she couldn’t help him and took him to a dog rescue.

When the inspector visited the defendant’s address she observed a run at the side of the house that was being dismantled and had dog faeces in it. A witness gave evidence that they had seen her with the dog recently and the dog was micro-chipped to her.

As well as the disqualification, Ball was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay a £500 fine and £85 victim surcharge.

In mitigation, the court heard that she had pleaded guilty, had no previous convictions, and found the dog difficult to look after due to family commitments and the dog’s behaviour. 
Inspector Burris said: “This was one of the most distressing cases I have dealt with because of the utter lack of any emotion or empathy displayed by the owner towards this dog.”

* The full offence that Ball pleaded guilty to is: “That on and before the June 24, 2018, at an address on Mark Avenue, Horncastle, you did cause unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely a black, male, cockerpoo type dog called Ned, by failing to do an act namely to maintain the dogs health, welfare and coat condition resulting in its collapsed state, skin lesions and maggot infestation, and that you knew or ought reasonably to have known that failure would have the effect of causing unnecessary suffering or be likely to do so. Contrary to section 4 subsection 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.”