Hayley Cowan suffocated her own dog with duct tape, strangled it with its collar and leash and then buried the dog in a shallow grave in the backyard of her Tyldesley, England, home, Mirror reported.
A friend of the 22-year-old called animal protection services after discovering the remains of Beau, a Staffordshire bull terrier. Several of Cowan’s acquaintances had seen her kick Beau on Oct. 14. Her friends took the dog in, but that night Cowan returned and took the dog, promising not to hurt her. The next day, Cowan told her friends the dog had run away.
Following an investigation after a friend discovered the dog’s body, Cowan was charged with two counts of causing Beau unnecessary suffering. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four months in prison. Cowan was also ordered to pay animal control’s court costs and has been banned from keeping pets for the rest of her life.
“The sentence sends out a very strong message — dreadful acts like this can result in prison sentences,” Chief Inspector Cathy Hyde told Manchester Evening News.
Inspector Vicki McDonald told the court: “This was a very heartbreaking case to investigate and only made possible by witnesses coming forward. It was very traumatic and upsetting so I am very grateful to them. I hope the sentence passed today will highlight the seriousness of the case and hopefully give Cowan the opportunity to reflect upon her actions against her defenseless dog, Beau.”
It remains unclear why Cowan killed her pet, although the court was told she had a history of mental health issues.