A man from Thornton Heath has been banned from keeping pets after his Bulldog puppy had to be put down because he failed to get it timely veterinary help. 

Paul Hancel, aged 52, of Mitcham Road, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his puppy Winter by failing to address the cause of her poor bodily condition. 

Winter came to the attention of the RSPCA when Hancel eventually took her to a vet on Friday, February 17, Croydon Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday (June 21). 

She was suffering from poor bodily condition, was very thin and had an extremely bad skin condition, which was causing crusting and bleeding over her face and body.

Winter was prescribed antibiotics and pain relief, and Hancel was told to bring her back in 10 days if the condition didn’t improve, or straight away if it worsened, prosecutor Lauren Bond said. 

Hancel brought Winter back to the vet on Monday and told them she had not been eating since Saturday evening, and had not been moving since Sunday night. 

The dog’s weight had dropped by 1kg over the weekend and the vet recommended she be put to sleep. 

Your Local Guardian: Winter was in an awful state when she was put downWinter was in an awful state when she was put down (Image: RSPCA)

When he was interviewed, Hancel said Winter’s weight had become an issue a week before he went to the vet. 

Hancel said that his boiler had stopped working in December, then his car stopped working in February, so didn’t have much money and had no way to travel to the vet. 

Instead he unsuccessfully tried to medicate for the dog’s illnesses using ointments and shampoo he ordered online. 

Ms Bond said: “What the vet concluded is that in their professional assessment Winter’s need for food and medical attention had been neglected.” 

She added: “Neglect, whether voluntary or passive, allowed Winter to suffer over the extent of her short life.” 

On Wednesday when Hancel attended Croydon Magistrates’ Court for sentencing, he was asked whether he had considered phoning the RSPCA to get help looking after the sick dog. 

“That didn’t come into my mind to be honest,” he said. 

Sentencing Hancel, a magistrate told him: “Quite frankly the photographs I’ve seen were horrific.” 

“This is one of the most difficult incidents we’ve seen in terms of the suffering of this animal. We believe there were enough opportunities for you to have phoned somebody, a friend, the RSPCA, to ask for the animal to be taken off you.” 

Hancel was disqualified from owning any animal for 10 years. He was also given an 18 month community order including 210 hours of unpaid work. 

The court also ordered that he pay £300 towards investigation costs.