Dog fight trainer from Dagenham given 10-year ban

Injuries: RSPCA inspectors found that Barbara kept a pit bull terrier called Elaine, pictured above,

Injuries: RSPCA inspectors found that Barbara kept a pit bull terrier called Elaine, pictured above, which had untreated eye and teat injuries - Credit: Archant

A cruel pet owner who trained pitbull terriers for dog fighting has been banned from keeping pooches for 10 years.

Tony Barbara, 48, of Third Avenue, Dagenham, was found guilty of keeping and training the banned dogs for fighting after being hauled into court by the RSPCA.

Inspectors discovered he kept a training device called a flirt pole for fighting and caused unnecessary suffering to a female terrier, Elaine, which had untreated eye and teat injuries.

Barbara was given a 24-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £780 costs at a sentencing hearing at Romford Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the RSPCA said.

RSPCA chief inspector Mike Butcher said after the hearing: “Tony Barbara trained his dogs for the sole purpose of fighting – an activity which was a premeditated act.


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“Dog fighting is a depressing blot on our reputation as a nation of animal lovers.

“While people like Barbara continue to pursue their sickening obsession, we’ll continue to track them down and bring them before the courts.”

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Barbara was found guilty of keeping and training animals for use in connection with an animal fight, having a veterinary kit and a flirt pole designed or adapted for use in connection with an animal fight, and two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the pit bull by failing to provide appropriate veterinary treatment.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing pitbull terriers, a banned breed in the UK, in breach of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

However, he was acquitted of five charges of causing an animal fight to take place.

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