Matthew Hurst stamped on his dog because of ‘inappropriate elimination’

NEWS AND OPINION – UK: Can you see the irony in the title? A young, baby-faced man, Matthew Hurst (yes, I can name him as he has been successfully prosecuted) was seen to stamp on this dog, Congo, 15 times because his dog had defecated and urinated inappropriately. Ironically, inappropriate elimination as it is euphemistically called is often caused by anxiety and stress in a cat or dog. Hurst’s cruel behaviour was making matters worse. His behaviour was arguably causing the inappropriate toileting to which he responded by further cruel behaviour causing more inappropriate toileting. It was a vicious downward spiral to one thing: an animal cruelty crime successfully prosecuted with a 16-week suspended prison sentence.

Matthew Hurst stamped on his dog Congo multiple times because the dog urinated and defecated inappropriately
Matthew Hurst stamped on his dog Congo multiple times because the dog urinated and defecated inappropriately. Image: MikeB based on a screenshot of Hurst and a photo of Congo by the RSPCA via Men Media.
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Note: It should be noted that Congo has suffered ear cropping which is quite clear from the photograph. This is illegal in the UK unless performed by a vet for medical reasons and is referred to as ‘mutilation’ under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This dog has, I’m afraid, really suffered at the hands of humans. Also please note that from the dog’s perspective his ‘inappropriate elimination’ was entirely appropriate and predictable.

The Humane Society describe dogs peeing due to “submissive urination” which occurs when a dog urinates as a response to fear or anxiety. It is more common in young puppies, but they can affect adults and I would argue that might be what happened in this instance.

Hurst, living in Wigan, UK, was captured on video. We’re not told why this happened, but it obviously provides undeniable evidence. He seen stamping on his black bull terrier before grabbing the dog’s head and slamming it on the floor according to a report on Mail Online.

The video also shows Hurst sitting on a sofa watching the dog either urinating or defecating on the floor. He stands up and precedes the stamp on the dog with his foot around 15 times with great force. He shouts: “What are you doing?”

We are not sure how Hurst’s animal cruelty was reported but I suspect that he was in someone else’s home where there was a security camera and the homeowner reported it. That is a guess, by the way, or a supposition based upon what I see. The RSPCA visited and seized the dog and took him back to an animal hospital. Fortunately, he has not suffered serious injury and will be okay.

For those who are unsure, in the UK, the RSPCA can prosecute for animal cruelty and in this instance, they prosecuted Hurst under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal contrary to section 4 (1) of that Act.

He was banned from keeping animals for 10 years and he was ordered to undertake 20 rehabilitation activity days and carry out 120 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £2,558 in court costs and was fined £120 as a victim surcharge.

Congo will be rehomed after he was signed over to the RSPCA by Hurst.

The animal cruelty in this instance is all about a lack of education. And the man is clearly unsuited to be an animal caregiver. He shouldn’t be allowed to own a dog or cat until he has been thoroughly educated and tested but even then, I’m not sure I would allow it.

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