Woman banned from keeping pets after abusing ‘trusting’ puppy

Shadelle Moynes-Burns of Gladstone Terrace, Hastings, pleaded guilty to three animal welfare act offences in a prosecution brought by the RSPCA after concerns were raised about her puppy Teddy.

The animal welfare charity was called to investigate when the young crossbreed was presented to a vet surgery in December 2021 with multiple rib fractures and injuries to his paws and tail.

Teddy had been seen several times by a vet between October and December 2021 for separate alleged accidents including falling from a bed and choking on a stick.

He was brought into the vet on December 31, 2021, with fluid-filled lumps all over his body.

Following an x-ray, he was found to have 11 rib fractures and multiple injuries consistent with repeat blunt force trauma. He also had fractures to his front paws consistent with them being hit with an object, which also impacted the use of his hind legs.

The Argus: Teddy being examined by a vetTeddy being examined by a vet (Image: RSPCA)

The vet said it was unlikely the injuries would have been caused by accidents and the rib fractures and lumps on his body (haematomas) were a sign of abuse.

Teddy’s injuries were so bad that the vet considered putting him to sleep but decided that, with the correct care, he could recover.

In mitigation, Lewes Crown Court was told Moynes-Burns had a troubled past, including mental health and attachment issues and was deeply embarrassed by her behaviour.

The court heard she did love Teddy and sought help for him.

The 31-year-old was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, concurrent on each offence and was ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

During her sentencing, the judge said: “My hope is that you get better, but the keeping of animals will no longer be a part of your life. You can apply in 20 years but the chances of it being lifted are zero.”

The Argus: Teddy is now happy and healthyTeddy is now happy and healthy (Image: RSPCA)

Teddy has since been rehomed by the RSPCA.

In a statement, the vet said: “Teddy is now recovering well in RSPCA care. He is growing well, using his front feet normally and his hind legs are healing well. In spite of everything he has gone through he is a happy, friendly and trusting dog which is a pleasure to see”.

RSPCA inspector Zoe Ballard, who investigated for the charity, said after the hearing: “This is a very special little dog who has had an unimaginable start to life. His rescue was made possible by all those who bravely spoke and cared for him. He has touched the hearts of everyone he has encountered throughout his journey.”

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