RSPCA: Man jailed for beating German shepherd dog with broom so hard its leg needed amputating

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The member of the public who took the dog to a vet feared he would be killed if left with his owner

A man who beat his dog with a broom so severely that the animal needed his leg amputated has been jailed for two years, after an RSPCA prosecution.

Brian Hughes, 41, was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court earlier this month, after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in a January trial. During sentencing, the judge told Hughes he was “not fit to be near animals”, and gave him an immediate prison sentence and a 15-year ban on keeping animals.

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The court heard that the dog - a German shepherd-type called Caesar - was taken into a vet clinic by a member of the public, who found him tied to a fence in September 2022. The court head a statement from the vet who examined Caesar, who said the person who brought him in had feared he "was going to be killed if left with his owner".

Caesar's leg was broken so badly he was barely able to stand, when he arrived at the vet clinic (Photo: RSPCA/Supplied)Caesar's leg was broken so badly he was barely able to stand, when he arrived at the vet clinic (Photo: RSPCA/Supplied)
Caesar's leg was broken so badly he was barely able to stand, when he arrived at the vet clinic (Photo: RSPCA/Supplied)

"Caesar was carried into the surgery unable to walk. On arrival he was unable to stand, however he could do so with support though he tired easily," they continued. Due to concerns for his welfare, the dog was handed over to the RSPCA, who began an investigation.

A second vet examination confirmed that Caesar had a broken leg, which later had to be amputated. The vet told the court Hughes claimed that he was attacked and bitten by the dog when trying to remove him from his bed, "during which the owner admits to having beaten the dog with a brush handle over the head and possibly the back, before then tying the dog to a gate".

"Blunt trauma such as that described would be a consistent finding with the injuries and bruising noted in the initial witness statement around the neck [from being tied to a gate forcefully[ and being beaten with the broom on the body," they said. Although Caesar's injuries matched up, the vet said he had shown no signs of aggression in their care, despite being in an unfamiliar environment.

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They added: “I would also suggest that it is very unlikely for this dog to have reacted in such an aggressive manner towards the owner solely as a result of being in pain when trying to be moved. Whilst in my care, in an unfamiliar veterinary environment, despite being in considerable pain and discomfort, the dog at no stage showed any signs of aggression, even upon manipulation and examination of the affected limb.”

RSPCA Inspector Jo Hartley, who investigated the case, said: “Caesar was in a bad way when he arrived in our care and he had been so badly injured that he needed his leg amputated. Thankfully, he has made an amazing recovery and has been happily rehomed."

She continued: "We’re really grateful to everyone who helped in our investigation. Caesar has now got a second chance at life and he is a happy boy now.”