A WOMAN from Broadstairs has been found guilty of allowing her dogs to be dangerously out of control in a public place.
Christine Huggan, 68, from George Hill Road, was found guilty last Friday at Margate Magistrates court of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat under the Animal Welfare Act by failing to exercise proper and effective control over her dogs.
One of the out of control hounds tragically lead to it disembowelling the cat in front of its owners.
Huggan was also found guilty of breaching the Dogs Act of 1871 by allowing her dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place.
During the case, magistrates heard how the RSPCA, police and dog warden had received several complaints over a number of months from members of the public about Huggan’s dogs, as they were regularly seen straying and causing a nuisance to people, horses, and other dogs.
The dog warden had issued two previous warnings to Huggan about her keeping her dogs under control in a public place.
RSPCA Inspector Caroline Doe said: "The magistrate then heard that minutes before the tabby cat was ripped to pieces, the owners had been outside with her in their garden with their tiny baby – they had only just walked inside their house when the dog burst through hedge and disembowelled the cat in front of them."
Huggan was given a three-year conditional discharge, made to pay £2,000 costs and the court issued a deprivation order on the dog that killed the cat – an American Bulldog called Milly.
This means the dog will be returned to a local animal charity that rehomed Milly to Huggan in the first place – the Thanet Animal Group.
The court also ruled her other dog – a German shepherd cross –must also be muzzled at all times in public place, on a lead and only walked by an adult.