Ipswich: Couple barred from keeping dogs for 15 years after RSPCA prosecution over their Newfoundland

Winston, the Newfoundland who belonged to Allen Forsdyke and Mary McEvoy

Winston, the Newfoundland who belonged to Allen Forsdyke and Mary McEvoy - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich couple have been banned from keeping dogs for 15 years after admitting a string of offences involving their five-year-old Newfoundland.

Ipswich magistrates heard that after seeing the state of Allen Forsdyke and Mary McEvoy’s pet Winston, a vet said: “In my 20 years as a vet, I have never seen a dog presented for such an examination with such advanced skin disease. This looks to have been going on for a long period of time.”

Forsdyke and McEvoy, of Shakespeare Road, Ipswich, bought Winston as a puppy, but lost their jobs and were unable to pay for the care he needed.

The pair were sentenced after each pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering and three counts of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal.

At their sentencing it was said that Winston had long-term problems that needed considerable care, which Forsdyke, 42, and McEvoy, 48, could not afford.


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Prosecutor Hugh Rowland said RSPCA Inspector Marc Niepold visited the couple’s home on August 15 last year and saw Winston was unwell. Two vets subsequently examined the Newfoundland.

There was evidence of a lack of muscle and overgrown nails, indicative of a lack of exercise, the court heard.

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The dog was severely depressed and had an eye infection. It also had eczema, dermatitis, hair loss over its entire body and a flea infestation, as well as an infection and inflammation in its ears. Winston also gave off an unpleasant “yeasty” odour denoting a skin condition, Mr Rowland said.

Many of the ailments had been present for at least two or three months. As a result, Winston was said to have been left in a weak and debilitated state. Forsdyke and McEvoy appeared to have tried to use a homeopathic treatment to get rid of the mange, although this did not work. A flea shampoo was also used, but it would have only washed the parasites off, not killed them.

Magistrates were told Winston was now a lot better after treatment and had been signed over to the RSPCA.

Ian Duckworth, representing the couple, said: “This is not a straightforward cruelty case, or even neglect case.

“She (McEvoy) acknowledges that had things been better financially, I think they could have undertaken the necessary treatment. What is abundantly clear is that this animal has inherent conditions.”

In addition to their 15-year disqualification from keeping dogs, Forsdyke and McEvoy were given 12-month community orders with 120-hour work requirements. Forsdyke was also given a supervision order.

They must each pay £300 costs and £60 to the victims’ fund.

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