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Sally Pickworth must pay more than £1,600
9:00am Saturday 10th August 2013 in Basingstoke
AN ANIMAL lover who was looking after a dog that was savaged by her own pet has had to pay more than £1,600 after she was prosecuted.
Sally Pickworth, of Pardown, in Oakley, was fined £200 at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court for looking after the animal without a licence.
She was also told to pay the £1,495 legal costs of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council which prosecuted her.
Magistrates heard that Pickworth, 37, was looking after a dog called Seb between June 7 and June 12, 2012.
Adrian George, prosecuting, said that during the stay, Seb suffered multiple puncture wounds to his neck and leg after being attacked by another dog owned by Pickworth. Seb was “lucky to survive”, said Mr George.
The court heard the attack followed several earlier warnings as far back as 2010 from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s licensing department. They had told Pickworth that she needed a licence to board animals overnight.
The department had written to Pickworth after it came to their attention that a website for her business, The Dog Academy, advertised “overnight kennelling” for £12 a night.
However, Joe McDermott, defending Pickworth, who pleaded guilty to a single count of keeping a boarding establishment for animals at her home address without the authority of a licence, said she did not regularly board animals overnight.
“She is not a person who boards regularly even though it was stated on her website, which is now defunct and has been for some time,” Mr McDermott said.
He added that Pickworth was well known locally for taking in stray animals. The court heard that Pickworth agreed to look after Seb after his owners said he may be abandoned, and that she never banked a cheque given to her for looking after the animal.
Following the attack, the court heard Pickworth took Seb to her own vet, and paid £1,400 in treatment costs.
“Taking on this dog was an emergency in the circumstances,” Mr McDermott said. “The lady turned up and said about the dog being abandoned, and she took it in against her better judgement.”
Following the case, Councillor Hayley Eachus, borough Cabinet member for community services, said: “This case is a good example of why it’s so important to have proper controls and a licence in place for dog boarding services, and the fine and significant costs incurred demonstrate the seriousness of the case. I hope that this prosecution will highlight the need for people who care for other people’s dogs to be licensed.”
To find out if an establishment is licensed, visit basingstoke.gov.uk.
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