Leyland woman who buried puppy alive gets animal ban, suspended jail term and unpaid work

A woman has been banned from keeping animals and handed a suspended jail sentence for failing to get veterinary treatment and then burying alive her Pomeranian puppy.

By Stef Hall
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 3:03 pm

Magistrates found Inga Ozola, 43, of Seven Stars Road, Leyland, guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between April 24 and 27 2019, after the seven week old puppy, named Spencer, was found buried in a shallow hole close to Worden Park on April 27 2019.

The pup had suffered two severely broken legs and vets later decided it was kinder to put him to sleep.

Ozola had been breeding and selling the Pomeranian puppies for between £400 and £550 each and had previously denied the charge against her at Preston Magistrates Court.

Spencer was just seven weeks old

The court previously heard she had sought treatment for a fractured leg and been told it would cost £2,000 for surgery, which she could not obtain credit for, and it was costing money for appointments, medication and X-rays.

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"The ground the puppy was buried in was very much hidden away and the fact that he had been spotted was extremely lucky. In my opinion the area was chosen to ensure that no one was likely to see him.

"A shallow hole was present with straight edging which gave thought to the fact that this may have been done with a tool rather than scraped by hand. I was aware that the puppy had been found wrapped in a bin liner but this bin liner had been left behind when the puppy was rescued and was no longer at the site now.”

After the case Alison Barber, a teaching assistant whose pets discovered Spencer in the field, recalled the traumatic moment he was found.

She said: "It was throwing it down that day. Our dogs were scrabbling and we went to see what they were scrabbling at, and there he was.

"There was a bin bag nearby and it was obvious he'd been in it. It was a shallow grave and the dogs had partly dug him out.

"It was obvious he was injured, though we did not know how badly at the time as he had no marks on him.

"He wasn't making any noise at all, he was just wet and cold so I put him inside my jacket and tried to warm him up. We tried to get him to stand up but he couldn't.

"It was pretty traumatic.

"But at least we know that he had a little bit of love from us in those last hours."

It is understood horrified members of the community planted a tree in the arboretum in Worden Park in memory of Spencer, whom at the time they named "Shilo' as his identity was not known.

Ozola was sentenced to 18 weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months.

She was banned from keeping all animals for 18 months and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs, as well as carrying out 120 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

A confiscation order was also made for her two pet dogs and arrangements are being made to transfer the ownership and responsibility for the dogs to an appropriate person.