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Owner stabbed dog, chained her to a breeze block then threw her into canal

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A cruel pet owner stabbed his sick dog, chained her to a breeze block and left her to drown in a canal, a court heard.

Brendan Murphy, 52, claimed his Japanese Akita died of natural causes before he buried her body in the woods.

But the RSPCA launched an investigation after Tara’s weighted body was found floating on the waterway.

Forensic tests revealed algae present in the dog’s bone marrow indicating she drowned on August 20 last year.

A post mortem also showed Tara had been battling lung disease for a number of weeks and had been brutally stabbed twice in the abdomen before her body was submerged.

The scientific evidence, used by the RSPCA for the first time, nailed Murphy who eventually pleaded guilty to three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal

Chester Magistrates’ Court heard Tara’s body was discovered in the Shropshire Union Canal near Nantwich, Cheshire, on October 6 last year.

Her microchip identified Murphy as her owner and he claimed she had died of natural causes.

He said he visited the woodland where he buried her a few times, but added that around two weeks later the animal had been dug up.

The case was the first RSPCA prosecution involving forensic tests on an animal’s bone marrow.

Inspector Andy Harris said: ‘Poor Tara had a lung disease which was left untreated and therefore she was left suffering will this illness for a number of weeks.

‘She was then stabbed in the abdomen twice before being thrown alive into the canal, where she drowned.

‘It is upsetting to think about what she must have endured during her final moments.’

Murphy was further convicted of failing to provide proper and necessary veterinary care.

He was handed a ten-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, banned from keeping animals for ten years and ordered to pay £300 costs as well as a £115 victim surcharge.

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