Father and son banned from keeping animals for life

PUBLISHED: 18:07 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 19:24 14 December 2018

Bruce the dog was put down.
Picture: RSPCA

Bruce the dog was put down. Picture: RSPCA


A Hatfield dad and his Welwyn Garden City son have both been banned from keeping animals for life, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Bruce the dog was put down.
Picture: RSPCABruce the dog was put down. Picture: RSPCA

Dermot Andrew Potts-Hall, 31, of Knightsfield, Welwyn Garden City, and William Potts-Hall, 71, of Selwyn Crescent, Hatfield, appeared before West and Central Hertfordshire Magistrates’ Court on Friday, December 7, for sentencing.

They had both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing unnecessary suffering between the period of July 7 and August 7 2018 to a German Shepherd-type dog called Bruce.

They failed to explore and address his deteriorating physical health as shown by a severe skin disease, severe dental disease, underweight condition, ear infection, muscle wastage, over long claws and conjunctivitis.

The pair were each disqualified for life from keeping all animals and ordered to carry out a 12-month community order of 100 hours’ unpaid work and pay a victim surcharge of £85.

Bruce the dog was put down.
Picture: RSPCABruce the dog was put down. Picture: RSPCA

The father was ordered to pay £85 court costs and the son ordered to pay £250 court costs.

RSPCA Prosecutor Mark Jones told the court Bruce had been found in a terrible condition and needed veterinary attention.

The defendants were traced and interviewed by the RSPCA.

The son, who owned the dog, made the decision to have Bruce put to sleep.

His father had been caring for Bruce for a number of years.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Rachel Smith said: “When poor Bruce was found he was in a terrible condition and had a number of problems which led to his unnecessary suffering.

“The sentence by the court reflects the severity of the case and highlights how veterinary attention should be sought at the earliest opportunity if an animal becomes ill, to prevent an animal suffering.

“Sadly in the case of Bruce he had been caused unnecessary suffering for at least a month, and the defendants had failed in their duty of care to him.

“A number of people have been involved in this case and I would like to thank them all for their help and continued support throughout this investigation.”

In mitigation both defendants said they lacked money to pay for the veterinary care required.

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