Dog owner, 30, is spared prison after masking his Mastiff Misty's extreme pain with second hand cannabis smoke instead of taking her to the vets
- Nathan Sinnitt's home was raided after police suspected he was growing drugs
- The found his pet Mastiff Misty calm, but unable to stand or walk properly
- Vets said dog was under the effects of cannabis inhalation which masked pain
- The dog was later put to sleep just 12 hours later. Sinnitt was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal
Nathan Sinnitt, of Wallsend, North Tyneside (pictured outside court_ has been banned from keeping animals for five years
A dog owner is spared jail after he masked his pet's extreme pain with second hand cannabis smoke instead of taking her to the vets.
Misty, a Mastiff-type dog, was seized after police raided the home of Nathan Sinnitt, of Wallsend, North Tyneside when they suspected he was growing drugs.
Officers found the pet calm but unable to stand or walk properly, and Sinnitt admitted his pet hadn't left the house in over eight months because of mobility issues.
RSPCA officers were called and the dog was taken to a vets but, less than 12 hours later, she was in such extreme pain that she had to be put to sleep, prosecutors said.
The vet confirmed that Misty had first appeared calm because of the effects of cannabis inhalation but those effects soon wore off, the court heard.
Sinnett, who was due before magistrates in North Tyneside, but failed to appear, was found guilty in absence of causing unnecessary to an animal and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The 30-year-old handed himself in to police on Tuesday and he appeared in the dock to be sentenced the same day.
Stewart Haywood, prosecuting, told magistrates that police raided Sinnitt's home on August 12 this year before calling the RSPCA on discovering Misty.
'Inspectors attended and saw Misty,' he said. 'Misty was sitting and, at the time she went to get up, she was very unsteady and struggling to put weight on her front legs and her back legs were uncoordinated.
'She fell a number of times when trying to get up.'
Misty was taken to the vet, who noted she was also struggling with pressure sores and that her skin showed areas of excessive licking.
RSPCA officers were called and the dog (pictured) was taken to a vets but, less than 12 hours later, she was in such extreme pain that she had to be put to sleep, prosecutors said
Mr Haywood added: 'The following day, Misty was seen and had clearly deteriorated. She was in pain.
'It's the opinion of the vet that, being in the presence of cannabis would have masked the level of Misty's pain after inhalation, which is why she didn't feel the extent of the pain until the following day.'
The vet determined that there had been 'significant, prolonged suffering' for Misty over a number of months.
And her condition was so bad, it was deemed that the most humane action was to put the pet to sleep, Mr Haywood told magistrates.
Misty was taken to the vet, who noted she was also struggling with pressure sores and that her skin showed areas of excessive licking
It was also revealed that Sinnitt was entitled to PDSA treatment and lived just 200 yards from a vet.
Mr Haywood said: 'It appears in this case that the defendant couldn't be bothered to walk the short distance to take Misty to a vet and, instead, decided to take on a criminal lifestyle and grow and smoke cannabis.'
The court heard Sinnitt's partner also failed to attend a court hearing last week and the case was also proved in absence against her.
A warrant was also issued for her arrest and is still outstanding.
Mark Harrison, defending, said Sinnitt hadn't deliberately been cruel to Misty but had failed to get her the necessary medical treatment.
He told the court: 'These are always emotive cases. The defendant has not been prosecuted for any cannabis recovered from his home address.
'I also don't consider it to be a particularly helpful point that he should be given any credit for lowering or suppressing Misty's harm by cannabis.
'I don't mitigate on the basis Misty's harm was lowered because of her inhalation of second hand cannabis smoke. In fact, I'm not even sure of the science to argue it anyway.'
Mr Harrison said Sinnitt was thoroughly ashamed, embarrassed and upset as the dog was initially bought for him to help with his mental health.
Sinnitt was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and was banned from keeping animals for five years.