Woman admits smothering sick puppy with a pillow
A WOMAN suffocated her sick puppy to put it out of its misery, a court heard.
Sandra Walker, 52, killed the Shih Tzu bitch because it was whimpering and in pain, Plymouth magistrates were told.
Walker, of Clifton Place, Greenbank, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between April 25 and April 30.
The offence took place at her former home in Bulwell, Nottingham.
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John Wyatt, for the RSPCA, said an inspector visited her following a complaint about four puppies on April 28.
He added the inspector found three healthy Shit Tzu adult dogs and three bloated puppies which appeared to be suffering from constipation.
Walker told him that she had taken the puppies, aged between four and six weeks, to a vet but had no money left for further treatment, the court heard.
Mr Wyatt said the inspector asked about the fourth puppy and was told it had died the previous night.
He added the RSPCA took the three puppies to a vet where they were treated with laxatives and Walker was given a warning about how to care for the dogs.
But Mr Wyatt said the charity received more information and went back to Walker, who confessed to smothering the dog with a small pillow.
The dog's body was exhumed from where it had been buried in the back garden and a post-mortem examination showed it had been suffocated.
Andrea Parsons, for Walker, said she accepted killing the dog but disputed the charity's version of events.
She said the RSPCA inspector had seen four rather than three puppies, which had been taken to the vet for care.
Mrs Parsons added that was the third time they had gone for treatment.
But she said one of the puppies deteriorated after being returned home until it was lying stiffly and whimpering.
The court heard Walker tried to reach the inspector who had visited her but he was unavailable.
Mrs Parsons added: "She felt as if she did what she did at the time purely to relieve the dog from its suffering and not for financial reasons."
She said Walker had a range of medical conditions which meant it was impossible to do unpaid work.
Magistrates banned her from keeping animals for two years. She was ordered to pay £1,000 costs.