A woman faked her dog’s death after it bit a child in the face, even showing police a casket of fake ashes, a court heard.
Kim Cannock posted a series of messages on Facebook to convince neighbours she had her 19-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog, Benson, (dog pictured above is a stock image) put to sleep after he bit the little boy, leaving him permanently scarred.
The 55-year-old wrote “RIP my boy” and referred to Benson “going over the rainbow bridge” to play with other dead pets and even showed police officers a wooden casket full of ashes with his name on the side.
But in fact Benson was alive and well and had been secretly rehomed.
Despite her lies, Cannock has now been allowed to keep Benson as long as he is muzzled at all times – even in her own garden.
Cannock, who admitted having a dog dangerously out of control when she appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court, claimed Benson had been put down after he attacked a nine-year-old boy in September 2016, biting him in the face.
The court heard that the mother of the boy who Benson had bitten was a friend of Cannock’s.
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Prosecutor Nikki Jennings said: “The boy would often come around and use Mrs Cannock’s swimming pool, and that was what happened on the day in question.
“The boy started to pet and stroke him on the head. He was talking to him saying ‘good boy’. Suddenly the boy stood up and had two visible bleeding marks on his top lip. There was no warning from the dog. I would highlight the lengths this lady went to, to protect a dog that had hurt a child.”
Cannock told the court she regretted lying to the victim’s family, but said: “I don’t want him destroyed. He was a puppy, just 19 months old. He’s not a dangerous dog.
“I had a lot of grief from people in the village. I put it on Facebook to get them off my back. I do apologise. I regret deeply that I lied to the family.”
Magistrates agreed to make a contingent destruction order, sparing Benson’s life on the condition he wears a muzzle at all times when outdoors, including in the garden, and is kept in a cage if a child under 16 is in Cannock’s property.
Cannock was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to the victim, along with court costs of £350. She was also fined £120 for obstructing a police constable.