Prosecutor Lauren Bond narrated how two dogs were essentially "cooked to death" on a hot summer day. Pet owners Sarah Henniker and TJ Gregory were on trial at Colchester Magistrates' Court for their negligence leading to the death of pugs Millie and Tito. The dogs had been left in a closed tent in July last year for more than eight hours. For causing unnecessary suffering to the animals, the couple will not be able to own an animal for five years.
Travelling with Millie and Tito, the couple had gone to Martello Beach Holiday Park in Essex in July 2019. During the holiday, the couple decided to leave the dogs in the tent while they were away for the day. With the temperature soaring to 34C (93F), the closed tent would have become unbearably hot.
After leaving their tent at nine in the morning, the couple returned around 5 pm. By the time they returned, the fawn pug and the black pug had both passed away after suffering heat stroke. When the couple found their dogs dead, they wrapped them up in sleeping bags with the intention of burying them.
Security at the Martello Beach Holiday Park confronted the couple when they found out about the dead dogs. They alerted the police about the incident, and the couple was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals.
The Daily Mail revealed that the pugs belonged to the 33-year-old Henniker, and had been with her since they were puppies. During a time when the couple was homeless, they had resorted to feeding the dogs an unhealthy diet of soup and tomatoes. However, the couple claimed that the dogs were generally well taken care of. The couple admitted that the dogs suffered due to their negligence but insisted that they did not mean to harm the animals.
Both Henniker and Gregory will serve 18-month community orders with 160 hours of unpaid work each. They also have to pay £390 court charges. For the next five years, the couple cannot own any animals. 28-year-old Gregory also has to attend 20 days of rehabilitation.