Dog walker punches pooch in head as it cowers in fright on pet camera
A horrifying video shows a dog walker repeatedly punch a helpless pooch in the head – only caught because of the family's secret pet camera.
Gary Hirtsch and Louise Williams have spoken out about what happened to their frightened boxer dog, Bella, amid a campaign by the RSPCA to regulate the dog walking industry.
In the clip, recorded at the couple's home in Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, dog walker Jacqueline Wilkins smacks a cowering Bella while shouting at her.
She bends over the two-year-old dog and yells: "Come here!"
Wilkins then hits Bella before delivering another blow, while shouting: "Get another smack."
Louise told the BBC that she was appalled when she watched the footage back when she came home, two weeks after she first employed Wilkins in 2017.
“I was horrified, I was in shock,” she said, “I think I just couldn’t believe what I’d seen.”
The RSPCA has warned that dog walkers currently do not have to be licensed in England unless it a requirement of the local council.
Sam Gaines, RSPCA head of companion animals, told the BBC: "The RSPCA strongly believes that this part of the industry does need to be regulated.
"Unfortunately there are people out there who are operating not to a particularly good standard of welfare which does put dogs at risk and also their owners as well."
Bella's owners said they had noticed the dog becoming anxious in the lead up to the footage being recorded.
Wilkins, who ran Wilkins Walkies, had described her business in an advert as providing a "caring, reliable and trustworthy experience" for dog owners.
Last year, Leeds Magistrates Court gave Wilkins was a 12-month community order, 100 hours unpaid work and a fine of £385 after she pleaded guilty to a charge of failing in her duty to ensure an animal's welfare.
She was also handed a two-year banning order from owning or caring for dogs.
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