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Man confessed to Pets at Home about shooting his dog with a crossbow

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A mentally-ill man called a Pets at Home store to tell them he had shot his Akita dog in the head with a crossbow bolt.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, October 11, how Donovan Spencer Rolland, 23, of Chester Street, Chesterfield, had injured the dog so badly that any attempt to save its life would have been too costly so it had to be put down.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “A call was made to Pets at Home, near Ravenside Retail Park, and the defendant said he had shot his dog in the head with a crossbow at home.

“He said it is in his head and he called the police.”

A police officer attended the address, according to Mrs Haslam, and saw the dog with a crossbow bolt sticking out of its forehead.

Mrs Haslam added that the bolt was a foot long with the tip embedded in the dog’s skull.

She added: “The dog must have been suffering quite badly and was close to death.”

Rolland pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by shooting the Japanese Akita dog between the eyes with a crossbow after the incident on August 13.

Defence solicitor James Riley said the defendant has mental health difficulties.

Mr Riley added: “The defendant called Pets at Home and he was described as being upset and crying and he didn’t know why he had done it.”

Rolland had suffered some form of breakdown, according to Mr Riley, at the time of the offence.

Mr Riley added: “This was a cherished pet and it is not your archetypal animal cruelty case. It was a lapse of thought affecting a dog he loved.”

The dog had to be put down due to a lack of funds, according to Mr Riley, not because the injury could not have been remedied.

Magistrates sentenced Rolland to 12 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Rolland was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The defendant was also banned from keeping animals for three years.