Sick video of sitters beating yelping dogs at daycare sees culprits hit with ban

A father and a daughter have been sentenced to a combined 15-year ban from holding a council animal welfare licence after a sick video emerged of them abusing pets at a dog day care centre.

John Walker and daughter Lauren both pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences following an investigation initiated by RSPCA in December 2019.

The abuse came into light when a former employee at Mucky Pups Doggy Day Care filmed John's poor handling of the pets, including causing unnecessary suffering to seven dogs.

The video exposed John, who was then working for his daughter, at the premise in Rishton, Lancashire, hitting the dogs until they yelped in agony.

He was also heard shouting "shut up", then grabbed what appeared to be a black Labrador by the scruff of its neck before slapping it several times.

Chelsea Devine, who filmed the clip, said she informed Lauren that a dog had been left with a limp after John had attacked it.

John Walker, 69, of Greenhill, Great Harwood, also pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animals were met between August 1, 2019, and December 18, 2019, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Daughter Lauren Walker, 31, of Knowles Street, Rishton, pleaded guilty to failing to take reasonable steps to prevent unnecessary suffering by her father to protected animals.

John was given a 10-year ban on holding such a licence and Lauren was handed a five-year ban.

As well as the ban on holding a licence at a sentencing hearing held at Blackpool Magistrates Court yesterday, John was given a 12-month community order, including 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and a 26-week curfew from 7pm to 7am.

He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Lauren was given a 12-month community order, including a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement and must serve a five-week curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

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She was also ordered to pay £200 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Inspector Dickinson said the case highlighted how important reward-based training is for dogs.

He said: "Reward based training which includes the use of things that dogs like or want for example. Toys, food and praise is enjoyable for the dog and is widely regarded as the preferred form of training dogs.

“Training which includes physical punishment may cause pain, suffering and distress. These techniques can compromise dog welfare, lead to aggressive responses and worsen the problems they aim to address."

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