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Man caught verbally abusing dog given 5-year ownership ban for causing trauma

Library picture of a Rottweiler dog-serious
© Pixabay

A Bristolian man whose abusive behaviour towards his dog was recorded has been issued with a £290 fine and a five-year animal ownership disqualification.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 24/11/2020, 21:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:24

Joshua Ponsford pleaded guilty to animal cruelty before Bristol Magistrates on 4th November this year. The court heard how Mr Ponsford had targeted his dog Lulu with a tirade of abusive language and threatening behaviour.

Despite audio recordings to suggest that Ponsford physically attacked his dog, the accused denied the accusation. He did however admit that his systematic verbal abuse of the Rottweiler had caused it distress.

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Harrowing recordings

According to The Mirror, Ponsford is heard in the first recording to call Lulu names and to shout at the dog in an intimidating manner. In the second recording further threatening language is used. In the third recording Lulu is heard “screaming and simpering”, writes The Mirror.

Throughout all of the audio evidence, Ponsford can be heard to cause loud bangs and crashes, presumably in an effort to scare the dog.

Mental fear and terror

Veterinary Surgeon David Martin told the court that in his opinion Lulu will have suffered undue distress and anxiety as a result of Ponsford’s actions. He said it was public knowledge that dogs respond less well to humans who are angry and intimidating, and he suggested that prolonged exposure to such behaviour could harm the dog.

Dr Martin said, "It is my expert opinion that undoubtedly Lulu suffered as a result of mental fear and terror as a result of the verbal abuse from Mr Ponsford as demonstrated on the audio recordings.”

Lulu has been handed over to the RSPCA. She is now being looked after and rehabilitated.