A HEARTLESS pet owner has been jailed after battering a five-month-old puppy so hard she had to be put down.
Jerome Lothian, 28, left crossbreed bulldog pup Mula with multiple fractures to her leg, pelvis and spine during two months of horrific abuse.
A court heard how the thug tried to blame the injuries on the pooch falling from a sofa and a step before experts found she had suffered "severe blunt force trauma".
Heartbreaking photos show little Mula barely able to stand with her leg in a bandage before she was put down by vets to end her suffering.
Lothian was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the puppy and other animal welfare offences at Nottingham Magistrates Court.
He was jailed for 16 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life last Wednesday.
Lothian and his partner Danielle Toni O'Brien, 31, were also found guilty of failing to provide vet care for the young puppy and allowing her to suffer.
The court heard the PDSA animal charity contacted the RSPCA following concerns that Mula had developed various injuries in the space of a few months – without a reasonable explanation.
The young pup had old fractures which had not been treated, plus a new fracture in her hind leg.
She was struggling to walk on her back legs and she was bleeding from her nostrils with wounds to her mouth and tongue.
The vet felt the extent of Mula's injuries, even with extensive treatment, meant that she would be left in chronic pain and felt the best option was to put her to sleep.
But police were called after O'Brien refused to allow Mula to be euthanised.
While they were waiting for the police, RSPCA Inspector Helen Mead sat with the helpless puppy, the court heard.
She said the dog barely moved, but after some time Mula used her front legs to move herself forward for a tummy rub and rested her head in the officer's hands.
During the police investigation, it was found that Mula had suffered a catalogue of horrific injuries in the lead up to her having to be put down.
Neither Lothian or O'Brian could give reasonable explanations as to how most of the injuries happened and there were a number of discrepancies between their stories, the court heard.
Vets concluded Mula was caused to suffer as a result of physical abuse while Lothian was responsible for her.
In a statement, one vet said: "A puppy of this age should not be seen with multiple fractures.
"Elbow fractures can be seen in bulldog breed puppies following minimal trauma. However multiple femoral fractures, and certainly a pelvic fracture, would require much greater trauma than the owner reported.
"I can only conclude that the fractures and injuries seen are as a result of trauma."
Lothian, of Carlton, Nottinghamshire, was ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
O'Brien, of Nottingham, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation requirement days and a deprivation order relating to another dog she owns was issued.
She was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £85 victim surcharge.
Following the hearing, RSPCA Inspector Helen Mead said: "This young dog endured repeated abuse at the hands of Lothian.
"I wanted nothing more than for her to recover but sadly the extent of her injuries meant this was not possible.
"Being with her as she was put to sleep, I hope myself and the lovely team at the PDSA gave her some comfort in her final moments.
"This case of deliberate cruelty will stay with me for a very long time."
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