A HAMPSHIRE man shot a dog in the head four times with an air-rifle before dumping it in a wooded area and leaving it for dead.

Simon Hancock attempted to kill 15-month-old Layland Terrier, Jet, using the rifle.

After shooting the dog four times, he dumped it in bushes close to his home in Hedge End, where it suffered, alone, for five days.

When a collapsed Jet was finally discovered, it was infested with thousands of fly eggs around the pellet holes.

This week, Hancock appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, where he was banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Daily Echo:

The court was told how on July 11 last year, Hancock attempted to destroy the dog, which belonged to his former partner.

He shot Jet four times in the head and dumped it in woodland near to his home in Terrier Close, Hedge End.

A collapsed Jet was found five days later by a member of the public,who rushed him to a vet.

Jet’s microchip details identified Hancock’s former partner as the owner, and investigations by the animal charity began.

An air rifle found in Hancock’s home was examined by forensics and it was accepted that it was the weapon used to shoot Jet, although Hancock claimed it had been dumped on his doorstep the same morning as the search warrant.

The 36-year-old denied shooting Jet.

Daily Echo:

He claimed a friend named Paul, whom he said he has since been unable to trace and didn’t know his surname, was given Jet after it is claimed the young terrier bit his ex-partner’s daughter.

He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by magistrates at a trial in May.

RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond said: “Jet was treated in a shockingly brutal manner, being shot in the head four times, then dumped while still alive but horrendously injured.

“You cannot begin to imagine the suffering this dog went through during the five days he was left alone and injured.

“Thankfully he has survived and has made a very good recovery.

“He’s such a happy, friendly dog who loves everyone he meets. It’s amazing to see him thriving in his new home.

“More than £5,000 was spent on veterinary care.

“He was very touch-and-go at times and he lost hearing in one ear because an ear canal had to be removed. His vision has also been affected.”

Hancock was banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours community service and pay £1,600 in costs.