Man fed ferret to dog ‘for his own enjoyment’

Officer investigating case brands defendant's actions 'cruel' and 'disgusting'

Chiara Giordano
Thursday 23 May 2019 16:56
Joshua Wanless, 28, of Walton, Surrey, was handed a suspended prison sentence after forcing a dog into a cage with a ferret to kill the other animal.
Joshua Wanless, 28, of Walton, Surrey, was handed a suspended prison sentence after forcing a dog into a cage with a ferret to kill the other animal.

A man who fed a live ferret to a dog in a public park “for his own enjoyment” has been branded cruel and disgusting.

Joshua Wanless, 28, forced the dog into a cage to kill the other animal in Apple Court Green in Walton, Surrey, on 30 January.

Police searched his car after a horrified witness raised the alarm and found another ferret, which was alive, in a box in the boot and his dog’s nose and cage covered in blood.

Wanless initially denied what happened and claimed the ferret was killed by accident, but text messages found on his phone revealed his cruel intentions.

Wildlife and rural crime co-ordinator PC Hollie Iribar, who investigated the case alongside PC Josh Parry, branded Wanless “cruel and “disgusting”.

Officers believe the dead ferret, which was found dumped on the green, was killed by the dog just minutes before they arrived.

PC Iribar said: “This is an abhorrent crime which involved Joshua Wanless antagonising a dog to kill a ferret for no other reason than his own enjoyment.

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“Using dogs to commit crimes in this way is disgusting.”

Wanless was banned from keeping animals for two years after pleading guilty to causing alarm or distress to another member of the public and entering an area he was not allowed in.

He also admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, a ferret, by feeding it to a dog and causing it to die, and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by encouraging the dog to attack a ferret.

Wanless, from Walton, appeared at Staines Magistrates’ Court on 21 May where he was handed a 16-week sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work over the next 12 months and forced to pay victim surcharge of £115 and costs of £85.

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