Ramsgate man receives animal ban after Russian Terrier needs nearly 8 kg of filthy, matted fur shaved off

Barney before and after the fur was shaved off (Image RSPCA)

A Ramsgate man that let his pet dog become so heavily matted that he was carrying an extra 21% of his body weight has been handed a five year animal ban and 12 month community order after a successful investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA.

Tim Springett, 50, of Marden Avenue pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences at Margate Magistrates Court on 22 January.

Poor Russian Terrier Barney was seized by Kent Police’s Rural Task Force and handed over to the RSPCA after the animal welfare charity made several attempts to encourage Springett to have the dog groomed and properly cared for.

Springett told RSPCA inspectors that Barney hadn’t been groomed for 19 months and believed he did not need clipping due to his breed.

In her witness statement, investigating RSPCA Inspector Tina Nash said Barney was: “extremely matted, with big clumps of fur hanging off of him that appeared to be full of dirt or faeces and tightly bound to areas around his back. The dog did not smell very nice and made me want to wretch.

“The environment was very untidy with lots of stuff everywhere and very dirty. I went into the back garden which was covered in faeces and very dirty. There were no dry areas for the dog.”

Barney was taken to a vets where he had 7.8kg of fur shaved from his body.

The vet said: “The dog had been made to support a coat weighing approximately 21% of his body weight as he moved around. The weight of this coat would have risen considerably when the dog was wet.

“I am in no doubt that this would cause the animal physical stress as he moved. It is my professional opinion, based on the information provided to me, that the person responsible for the care of the dog had failed to provide the dog with a sheltered sleeping area with bedding.

“The person had also failed to groom the dog over many months and, as a consequence, had left him in a position where he was likely to suffer.”

Barney has undergone an amazing transformation under the care of the RSPCA and is now in private boarding, and he will be made available for rehoming.

In mitigation, Springett said he had been unwell and his ill-health was behind the issues. He said he loves dogs and has worked with them in the past.

As well as the 12 month community order including 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days, Springett was ordered to pay £400 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge and was disqualified from keeping all animals for five years.



  1. Why were the RSPCA Involved? They are a charity, they are not a branch of the police, they are not obliged to take action because of contraventions of the Animal Act 2006, and they are not a branch of the police, and are not publicly accountable! Name one other profession that depends on a charity to function? You, won’t only the police do! I am speaking as a former RSPCA Trsutee.

    • Dumpton,why are you getting so angry about RSPCA actions, benefitting an abused dog?Would you rather they did nothing and let that vermin get away with abusing the poor dog?Very strange reaction!

      • I am not angry at the RSPCA, but I am that the police for failing to enforce the Animal Welfare Act by fobbing people off to go to a charity! A charity I was involved with for many years, and which is not fit for PUBLIC service! It cannot be held publicly accountable, for instance what would happen had the RSPCA refused to attend the dog, which they have every right to do? I could provide examples whereby the RSPCA are only attending in an emergency, and an animal is likely to die, according to a letter I have from them. Animal ill treatment can be ignored by them, legally!

        I can provide evidence where the police failed to enforce the Animal Welfare Act, because the RSPCA Inspector claimed confining 4 Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs, dogs descended from a cross between African Wild dogs, and Great Danes, inside a 2 bed semi detached bungalow, without any physical or mental stimulation, was acceptable, but was contrary to at least 3 of the 5 “Needs” required according to the Act.

        I could go on, but as I say the RSPCA are a charity, and the police nationally are failing in their duty of care to protect the public from possible dangerous dogs if its reported to them, by fobbing them off to go to a charity. Correct me, but this is the 21st century isn’t it, and not the 19th?

  2. Dogs are at the mercy of their owners.They may be lucky and live a life of love.Alternatively,they may have to endure a life of neglect and misery,by vermin such as Springett.
    A ban for life and community service,working in a rescue centre.

  3. Dumpton…this is the RSPCA mission statement…

    “Our mission is to ensure animals have a good life by rescuing and caring for those in need, by advocating on behalf of all animals and by inspiring everyone to treat them with compassion and respect”.

    The report indicates the dog was handed over to them by the police who then took action.
    I note you say you were a trustee, perhaps you left under a cloud as your comment hints very heavily at dislike of the RSPCA.

  4. George see my post above. I have nothing against the RSPCA, but I object strongly against the Police fobbing people off by referring them to a charity! The police should be able to enforce the Animal Welfare Act themselves instead of having to depend on a charity!

    • PS. George and others, I was one of about 10 RSPCA trustees that resigned at the same time,many years ago now, for reasons I am unable to disclose.

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