Court

Man chained ‘skeletal’ pitbull to ceiling

  • Magistrates Court (photo by Glenn Tucker)

A Pembroke man who admitted failing to give adequate care for a dog has been banned from owning dogs for six years.

Kenneth Dyer was brought before the courts by the Bermuda Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as part of a private prosecution after a dog was found in his care tethered to the ceiling by a heavy boat chain with signs of “severe skeletal trauma”.

While Dyer denied having harmed the dog, he told the court he failed to seek treatment for the animal because he did not realise the extent of its injuries when he found it.

The court heard that on August 17 last year, an inspector with the SPCA attended Dyer’s home and found a pitbull secured to the ceiling with a boat chain.

According to the SPCA, the chain had no slack and the dog was unable to move even after it was taken off the chain. The dog had blood coming from its mouth and began to bleed from its nose as well when the SPCA took it to a veterinarian for treatment. The animal died a short time later.

According to a report by vet Andrew Madeiros, the dog was underweight — either through poor nutrition or illness — and had signs of severe skeletal trauma, similar to that which could be caused by being hit by a car.

He was unable to determine when the injuries were caused, but said it could have been as recently as four weeks before the dog was found.

The report also stated that the dog’s collar was “far too tight”, which would have caused suffering, and the way it was tethered could have contributed to the dog’s death.

Lawyer Benjamin Adamson, representing the SPCA, said that while the penalty for the offence could include up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine, the SPCA was more focused on an order restricting Dyer from owning dogs.

Mr Adamson suggested a period of ten years would be appropriate but Kamel Worrell, representing Dyer, suggested that given the guilty plea and lack of previous convictions, two or three years would be more fitting.

He described his client as an “avid dog lover” who was extremely sorry that he failed to have the dog’s injuries looked at.

“The dog was found by him and he didn’t know the extent of its injuries,” he said. “Not knowing the extent was one reason, along with fear of repercussions towards him, of accusations if he had done so.”

Magistrate Tyrone Chin fined Dyer $250 and banned him from owning any dogs for six years — including having to give up a dog already in his care.

SPCA Inspector Chris Coleman was delighted by the outcome. “This six-year ban means that Dyer will not be able to have ownership, care or control of any dog for that period of time.

“It sends out the message that cruelty will not be tolerated in Bermuda and neglecting to seek veterinary attention when your animal is sick or injured is not acceptable.”