Cruel pet owner Googled how to kill his 13-year-old Rottweiler then fed it paracetamol and chicken bones before abandoning it to die in sewage-filled garden


A dog owner researched how to kill his Rottweiler before abandoning her to die in his sewage-filled garden.

Anthony Christie, 41, hoped his pet, Elsie, would die from natural causes and searched online for ways to ‘speed up the process’, a court heard.

The father-of-three, from Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, fed the defenceless dog paracetamol and chicken bones before dumping the emaciated pet outside.

The 13-year-old dog was discovered by a concerned neighbour who tried to feed her before an RSPCA inspector arrived the following day and took her to a vet.

The pet was half her normal weight and suffering from leg and elbow injuries, a skin disease, hair loss and had green fluid weeping from her eyes. She had to be put down.

Christie and partner Kirsty Marie Henderson, 29, admitted animal cruelty charges and were banned from keeping dogs and cats for 10 years, but avoided prison.

Magistrate Lynda Scanlan said: ‘You don’t know how close you have come today to going to custody. What happened to that poor animal was absolutely despicable.

‘You lived there, you saw the way that dog was deteriorating. You had children in the house.

‘If it wasn’t for the kindness of the neighbour, how much longer would that animal have suffered?

‘That dog is dead. That dog suffered lying in that garden and you did nothing about it.’

Sunderland magistrates heard a neighbour spotted Elsie lying motionless and curled in a ball in the couple’s back garden in the city on July 6.


The neighbour threw some cooked chicken over the wall and saw her try to get up to eat, but then lie back down when she couldn’t stand. There was sewage flowing into the garden from a faulty drain.

When rescued, the animal weighed just 25kg – around 13kg less than her expected weight.

RSPCA prosecutor Judith Curry said: ‘A police officer was called to the vet’s and Elsie was put down immediately on the vet’s instructions due to the amount she was suffering at that point.’

Christie admitted giving her paracetamol and said he was waiting for her to die of natural causes.

Mrs Curry added: ‘He said if he had thought she was suffering he would have had her put down. But he admitted he was selfish.’

Gavin Sword, defending, said the dog belonged to Christie and he wanted her to die at home.

He added: ‘He knew she was on her way out, as he put it. He had been on Google and apparently it was acceptable to give the dog paracetamol. He did that as a home remedy.’

The pair admitted three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Elsie between May and July this year.

Christie and Henderson were sentenced to six months’ supervision and also given a six-week tagged curfew and ordered to pay £720 costs.