A MAN who witnesses said "hit and kicked" his dogs in Nailsea has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

George Venner, of East Street, Bedminster, Bristol, was convicted of four offences under the Animal Welfare 2006 and appeared at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on December 6 to be sentenced.

On top of disqualifying him, magistrates imposed a 24-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months.

The court heard how, on September 14 last year, RSPCA inspector Kimily Walters went to Venner's former flat at Strawberry Close in Nailsea after witnesses said that a Staffordshire bull terrier and Labrador living at the residence were being abused and were left unattended.

Inspector Walters was also carrying out checks following an earlier visit she had made.

Harley, an elderly brindle and white bull terrier, was found to be severely underweight, with her hips and ribs prominent. Upon being seen by a vet, she scored two out of nine on a body condition test and had to undergo surgery to remove a pendulous mass in her mammary region.

Venner had no sought treatment for this himself.

In a statement read to the court, Inspector Walters said: “I saw she also had a large mass on her chest and overgrown nails. I was also shown Bandit, a black Labrador, who was in a lean body condition and had a swollen ear that appeared sore."

A four-month old crossbreed puppy was also discovered in a reasonable state of health.

Inspector Walters added: “I explained that I wished to have all the dogs examined at the vets as neighbours had seen the defendant assault the Labrador cross and bull terrier cross called Harley and they were both in poor body condition."

Bandit was found to be suffering with an ear infection.

The flat itself smelled strongly of ammonia and faeces.

Despite pleading guilty to three animal welfare charges and denying four other animal welfare charges, Venner was convicted of those four offences after a trial.

Magistrates said that they believed the neglect in the case had been "prolonged."

Venner had to pay a £154  victim surcharge and a contribution towards court costs of £1,000.

The court was informed that the defendant suffered from mental health problems, including a personality disorder, and that he had financial and health problems. 

The puppy, Dexter, has been rehomed by the RSPCA.

Meanwhile, Harley and Bandit have been signed over to the charity, who are looking for loving homes for them.