(Caution: Some images may be disturbing)Two men from Redcar, U.K., pled guilty last week to a horrifying case of animal cruelty which was, according to the veterinarian involved, the worst one he'd seen in 30 years.
Michael Heathcock, 59, claimed his dog, Scamp, was blind, deaf, had limited use of his back legs and become incontinent. After apparently learning the supposed cost of euthanasia, he and Richard Finch, 60, decided to take matters into their own hands.The pair took the canine, a hammer and nails into the forest where Heathcockput a nail through the animal's skull. It took six strikes to drive the metal into his head. Finch was a "lookout" and reportedly encouraged his friend to commit the murder.[caption id="attachment_18419" align="alignnone" width="698"]
Heathcock (left) and Finch (right) leaving trial. Source: North News & Pictures Ltd[/caption]Scamp stopped moving and the two men dumped him in a hole in the ground, believing him to be dead.A couple who was walking through the woods later in the day heard grunting noises coming from a mound of dirt, where they found the elderly dog.
He was barely alive and was eventually euthanized by a veterinarian to put and end to his immeasurable suffering.Heathcock and Finch were both charged with animal cruelty. They will have a lifetime ban on owning any animals, and were sentenced to four months in prison, of which they will most likely serve two.Anna Turley, the member of parliament from Redcar, has been campaigning to increase the punishment for animal abusers. She told The Guardian:
I am pleased they have received a custodial sentence for what they did but the punishment is still not enough for the severity of the crime. The judge is limited by current sentencing guidelines and they will probably only be in prison for two months. I will continue to press for my bill to be heard to increase the maximum sentence from six months to five years.
Heathcock had Scamp for over 16 years and claims that he thought he was doing what was best for the animal.Meanwhile, protesters and animal activists filled the courtroom and cheered when the guilty verdict was announced.Although the punishment doesn't seem to be nearly strong enough for the severity of the act, at least Scamp has received some justice for his suffering.You can read up more about the animal cruelty laws in the United States and in Canada here.
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