A SOUTH Wales couple have been banned from keeping animals after putting their dog through terrible physical and mental abuse

The abuse included bulldog Luna being punched, slapped, hit with a stick and kept in the garden.

Michael Cross, 31, of Osprey Court, Barry and Paige Ryan, 29, of Dunlin Court, Barry, appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, November 28, after both pleaded guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said it was on September 14, 2022, when she began looking into Luna’s treatment.

On Wednesday December 14, 2022, inspector McNeil attended Osprey Court in Barry with police and met Cross and Ryan and explained to them that she was investigating potential offences that had taken place in the summer.

“I noted that Luna was in reasonable bodily condition although when she was stroked, she would put her back end down to the ground when her back was stroked,” said inspector McNeil.

“She seemed quite nervous to be touched although would approach people including Mr Cross and Ms Ryan.”

In an independent expert veterinary report, the vet said: “Both defendants were, according to the statements provided to me, directly observed to hit Luna with Mr Cross being observed to punch her in the head a number of times and Miss Ryan being observed hitting her with a stick while in the enclosure.

“Clearly these actions will have caused Luna pain and also were intended to cause her pain as they were an attempt at disciplining her for unwanted barking.

“In addition to these occasions when the defendants were directly observed to hit Luna there were a number of occasions when one or other defendant was with Luna in the garden of the property and a slapping noise was heard immediately followed by Luna yelping.”

Penarth Times: Luna was punched, slapped and kept in the gardenLuna was punched, slapped and kept in the garden (Image: RSPCA Cymru)

Penarth Times: Owner Cross was observed to punch her in the head a number of timesOwner Cross was observed to punch her in the head a number of times (Image: RSPCA Cymru)

The offence was committed between July 1 and August 31, 2022, at Porthkerry Road, Barry.

At the sentencing hearing Cross and Ryan were disqualified from keeping all animals for five years, and were ordered to undertake an 18 month community order.

Cross was ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and Ryan was ordered to undertake 180 hours.

Both were ordered to pay £250 costs each.

Following the case, inspector McNeil said: “Unfortunately Luna sustained this physical and emotional abuse on several occasions which is just completely unacceptable.

“I’d like to thank South Wales Police for their assistance along with the witnesses who provided the statements and video footage. This must have been very traumatic for them to witness and we very much thank them for supporting our investigation.”