Justice for Bear as owner admits cruelty charges
5:30pm Wednesday 17th October 2012 in News
The filthy state of a flat where a German Shepherd dog and iguana were left alone for five weeks to die a "stressful and painful death" have been revealed.
Piles of rubbish and animal waste were strewn across the flat in Pembroke Dock where the two animal bodies were discovered in June.
The death of the dog, named Bear, sparked fury and an online petition calling for 'Justice for Bear' collected more than 1100 signatures.
On Monday Stephen Nixon of Water Street, Pembroke Dock, pleaded guilty to four animal welfare charges at Haverfordwest Magistrates court.
The charges included causing unnecessary suffering to an iguana and German Shepherd, by not providing them with adequate water.
Nixon also admitted not taking steps to ensure that the needs of the dog were met by providing a suitable environment which was hygienic and free from hazards, along with the needs of the Iguana to provide a suitable environment with was hygienic, with adequate space, heat and lighting.
The court heard how the alarm was raised when residents became increasingly concerned for the welfare of Bear.
The dog did not appear to be being walked and only the 'occasional bark' was heard from the property in Hamilton Court.
On June 11 Dyfed-Powys Police discovered Bear's body lying on a pile of clothes in the bathroom of the property and the dead Iguana was discovered inside the vivarium.
The online petition entitled received more than 1100 signatures in less than two weeks after massive support received via Facebook.
John Tarrant, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court a smoke bomb was used inside the property due to the flea infestation.
Faeces and domestic waste was discovered throughout and there was no sign of food or water available to either animal.
Mr Tarrant told magistrates the vivarium was too small, there was no temperature monitor equipment or suitable lighting and post mortems revealed both animals died of dehydration.
Mr Tarrant said evidence suggested the animals had been abandoned for at least five weeks: "The effects of dehydration would have been physically painful and it would have been a stressful and painful death," he said.
Nixon insisted in interview: "I made sure it had water and food" but reports showed Bear had nothing in his stomach when he died.
The 38 year-old initially stated his wife had moved out of the property just a couple of weeks prior to the police discovery, but in later interviews admitted she had left in February.
Magistrates indicated a community order to imprisonment was being considered.
The probation service requested an adjournment so that Nixon could receive a mental health assessment, after he continued to claim that he had attended the property four times a day to feed and water the animals.
The case was adjourned until November 6th for sentencing.