Shirebrook couple banned from keeping dogs after flea blight

Keith and Karina Chapman, of Olive Avenue, Shirebrook, were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two poorly dogs including Phoenix, pictured, by not providing veterinary care.

Keith and Karina Chapman, of Olive Avenue, Shirebrook, were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two poorly dogs including Phoenix, pictured, by not providing veterinary care.

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An RSPCA inspector has warned animal owners to always seek veterinary care after a couple has been banned from keeping dogs because they failed to get professional treatment for two pets.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard during sentencing on Thursday, May 14, how Keith, 38, and Karina Chapman, 24, of Olive Avenue, Shirebrook, allowed their German Shepherd Phoenix and black terrier Oreo to become so flea-infested that their skin had become sore.

RSPCA Insp Keith Ellis said: “These kind of cases are increasingly popular because people are facing financial problems. If home treatments don’t work people are obliged to take their pets to the vet. Anyone with problems can contact the RSPCA and we will assist as much as possible.”

Police reported the dogs to the RSPCA after they visited the Chapmans regarding a separate matter. An RSPCA investigation revealed neither dog had been seen by a vet for their flea allergy dermatitis and ear infections.

A vet later confirmed Phoenix had suffered hair loss, soreness and crusting, bleeding and itching with a severe ear infection. Oreo was also suffering with sores and an infection in both ears.

The Chapmans were found guilty after a trial in April of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by failing to provide veterinary care. Defence solicitor Felicity Clarke said the couple had tried ointments and remedies but they could not afford a veterinary visit.

Magistrates sentenced Mrs Chapman to a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and Mr Chapman was sentenced to a six month community order with a curfew.

Both were banned from keeping dogs for life and each must pay a £60 victim surcharge and £250 costs. The dogs have been re-homed.