12:17PM, Tuesday 05 March 2019
A woman claiming to have found a dying dog dumped in the woodland has been banned from keeping animals after Slough Borough Council (SBC) discovered it was her own pet.
Emma Welland’s Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Rasher had been severely neglected over a significant period and was seriously malnourished.
She claimed to have found the animal abandoned in Bluebell Woods, in Britwell, on June 12 last year, and called to notify the council’s neighbourhood enforcement team to say she had taken it home to care for it.
The elderly dog, who could not even walk, was rushed to an emergency vet, but nothing could be done for him and he was humanely put down a week later.
The vet found Rasher was severely neglected with serious muscle wastage, malnutrition, dangerous weight loss and a nasty skin condition.
An appeal was launched to find the owner and several people identified Welland as the one responsible for Rasher.
The 47-year-old from Wavell Gardens, Britwell, admitted to causing unnecessary suggesting to an animal under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday, February 22.
She was banned from owning or keeping any animal for five years and ordered to complete 40 hours unpaid work, a 12 month community order and 15 days of a rehabilitation activity.
Welland was also ordered to pay £60 costs and a victim surcharge of £85.
SBC neighbourhood manager Ian Blake said: “This was a very difficult case due to the original reports from Emma Welland frustrating the investigation.
“She claimed to have found Rasher when she was actually the dog’s owner and person responsible for his terrible condition.
“She had fabricated the entire story of the abandoned dog in the wood and tried to pass her responsibility as an owner over to Slough Borough Council.
“Extensive efforts were made by vets and the kennels to support and rehabilitate Rasher however, he had deteriorated to such a poor state there was little more that could be done.
“Everyone involved in this case found it difficult to come to terms with what happened to Rasher.
“The actual facts of the matter would never have come to light if people had not come forward with information during the council’s publicity campaign and I would like to thank those who did.”
SBC cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection Cllr Pavitar Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough) said: ““To find out his owner was the woman who tried to claim to be the hero in this scenario was just so sad.
“As the council we will always endeavour to gather as much information as possible which could lead to prosecution through the justice system.”
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