Staff and volunteers of Forever Hounds Trust are pleased with the outcome of the hearing against Jonathan Champion at Bodmin Magistrates Court on Friday, March 4th. Mr Champion was convicted of five counts of animal cruelty involving nine dogs, including the neglect of a dog with some of the most horrific wounds the charity has ever seen. He is now awaiting sentencing.
The black and white greyhound, named Flora, came to the rescue organisation after being removed from Mr Champion’s property, along with twelve other dogs, in early summer 2015. Flora had been one of three greyhounds homed to Mr Champion by a racing greyhound owner. One of those greyhounds had been saved in a previous rescue and it is alleged that the other was killed in an attack with a claw hammer.
Emily Burns-Sweeney, Director of Welfare for Forever Hounds Trust said: “When Flora was found she was close to death. She had an enormous wound which ran from the top to the base of the right side of her neck which had been caused by another dog and left untreated for at least two weeks. The wound was necrotic, filled with straw, dirt and heavily infected. She had another large open wound to her right haunch. She was also riddled with worms and fleas and shockingly underweight. In fact, she weighed over ten kilograms less than what would be a normal weight for her. The vet treating her was not hopeful she could save her.”
Forever Hounds Trust worked to gather as much evidence as possible and reported everything to the RSPCA enabling them to prosecute Mr Champion, who previously attended court on similar charges of animal cruelty in 2011. Jan Lake, Trustee of Forever Hounds Trust, said: “Forever Hounds Trust is a pro-welfare organisation and we will always seek a prosecution where there has been an infringement of the Animal Welfare Act. In Flora’s case it was very clear that she had suffered hugely under the care of Mr Champion, and she wasn’t the only one. We are aware that many of the animals removed from the property were in a similarly appalling state.”
Against the odds Flora pulled through, and with the care of some very special Forever Hounds Trust volunteers she began to show signs of improvement. Her wounds were treated and she put on weight. Everyone involved in Flora’s care quickly fell in love with her. Emily said: “Flora made a wonderful, loving, happy, fabulous nuisance of herself! She became quite cheeky and ate everything in sight, including her wound dressings! She really is a delightful dog and thanks to her foster mum, who has spent a huge amount of time nursing her back to health, Flora has now found her forever home and is living an idyllic life in a rural setting with a lovely lady owner who adores her.”
Forever Hounds Trust work tirelessly to rescue and find homes for greyhounds and lurchers throughout England. There is a huge demand on their kennel and foster spaces and a desperate need to find more homes for the dogs, which make wonderful pets. If you think you could offer a home to a Forever Hounds Trust dog, please get in touch with them on 03000 111 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.