A vet who left a dog to suffer with a broken back for weeks without proper treatment has been prosecuted for animal cruelty.
Philippa Rodale, who was the subject of an RCVS disciplinary committee hearing in July in which she asked for her name to be removed from the register, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog. She was ordered to pay costs of £4,000 to the RSPCA, as well as £520 in court charges and a £15 victim surcharge.
Weymouth Magistrates’ Court was told Rodale, 74, was working as a vet at Weatherbury Veterinary Clinic in Puddletown, Dorset this summer when the incident occurred.
The female foxhound, called Dangerous, was brought in after being hit by a 4×4 car. A member of the public contacted the RSPCA after seeing the dog lying in the surgery, whining and dragging her back legs.
Dangerous had already been in the care of the clinic for 10 days and though Rodale had administered both homeopathic and conventional treatment, she failed to x-ray the animal or give adequate pain relief.
RSPCA inspector Marie Griffiths said: “When I found Dangerous she was lying on a tiled floor with no bedding and only a towel propping up her head, paralysed and covered in infected pressure sores. She couldn’t even stand up.
“It was a shocking sight and definitely not something I would expect to see anywhere, let alone in a veterinary practice.
“She was clearly in agony and had just not received the level of care and attention you would expect from a vet. She was suffering so much, sadly, a decision had to be made by another vet to do the kind thing and finally euthanise her.
“The RSPCA exists to protect animals from cruelty and suffering, and defend them when their needs are not being met. We hope this case goes some way to showing no one is exempt from providing animals with the duty of care they deserve – not only morally, but because it is also the law.”
Rodale, who worked from her clinic in Puddletown for more than 20 years, was made an MBE in 2008 for outstanding services to veterinary medicine.
As well as standing down as a practising vet from 31 July, she also made an undertaking to the RCVS to never apply to be restored to the register.