In an egregious case of animal abuse, Matthew Hawksworth, 21, of Cornishway, Wythenshawe, UK has been banned from owning any pets for the next five years according to the Manchester Evening News. The story of the puppy's abuse made international news, outraging animal lovers and humane advocates throughout the world.
In July 2013, Hawksworth and his girlfriend purchased an eight-week-old adorable black and white Staffordshire bull terrier and named the sweet little pooch Skyler. It wasn't long before Hawksworth started to physically abuse the dog, telling his inexperienced girlfriend that biting the puppy was a method of training. The biting progressed to punching, and kicking, and the young dog had to be brought to a veterinarian for treatment.
Hawksworth kicked the puppy while wearing steel capped boots, threw the dog across the room, and at times the dog was not even able to get up as he limped slowly around the apartment.
Hawksworth told his girlfriend the bruises were minor, and the vet had given the dog some pain pills, but when she checked with the veterinarian, x-rays showed the dog had suffered fractures, severe bruising and blunt force trauma. At that time, she called the RSPCA, and an investigation began.
On Friday, Hawksworth pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. At an earlier hearing, he was forbidden from keeping animals for five years, given a 14-week suspended prison sentence, ordered to pay a $830 fine, $132 court costs, and ordered to follow a curfew from 7:00 in the evening to 5:30 a.m. curfew for the next year.
According to Hawksworth's attorney, his client suffers from depression. The girlfriend has since left, and Skyler, the dog, has been re-homed and is reported to be doing fine.
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