A MAN who repeatedly slammed a dog in a door has been slapped with a community order.

Police dog Ernie “yelped and howled in pain” as Ernest Piotr Kujawski slammed a door against him.

Kujawski shouted incoherently and threatened to kill the five-year-old Mechelse herder, a court heard.

Daily Echo:

PC Mark Farley and Ernie had rushed to Shirley High Street in Southampton on February 5 following reports of thieves breaking into a car.

Ernie chased after the 42-year-old suspect who describes himself as an “animal-lover” and who was believed to be carrying a weapon.

Kujawski is said to have run into his house with Ernie hot in pursuit.

However, he slammed the door on him and tried to force it closed.

PC Farley tried to open the door but Ernie’s paw was still stuck in it.

Daily Echo:

He shouted at Kujawski saying he was breaking his dog’s leg.

Kujawski appeared at Southampton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. He had previously been convicted at a trial which he failed to attend.

The court heard how Ernie was left with a swollen paw, withdrawn and in discomfort.

Ten days later he was still limping and struggled to exercise with his injuries considered “career-ending”.

Daily Echo:

A victim statement made by PC Farley said how the two have worked together since April 2017 and how Ernie lives at his family home.

PC Farley said how the attack had left Ernie with both physical and mental scars.

He feels guilty for what happened to his “best friend” and that the fur on his paw will never grow back.

Six months on, Ernie is back at work and “operating normally”.

Daily Echo:

The duo received a Chief Constable Commendation for “showing courage, resilience and bravery”.

PC Farley said: “Ernie did a fantastic job, and he would do so again without hesitation. It was by far the most difficult moment as a dog handler for me, putting him in harm’s way is never taken lightly.”

Defending, solicitor Gaylene Coles told how Kujawski maintains he was acting in self-defence.

He has been given a 12-month community order, must complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £123 in compensation.