Vet is convicted of possessing animal and child pornographyAugust 14, 2023
Vet is convicted of possessing indecent images of animal and child pornography – leaving animal lovers unable to retrieve the bodies of their beloved pets after surgery closed
Distraught animal lovers say the remains of their dead pets are inside a vets’ surgery that closed after its owner was convicted of downloading animal and child porn.
Owners are angry that the surgery closed without warning before they had the chance to retrieve the ashes of their cat or dog.
Vet Robert Russell, who is listed as director of the surgery in the New Forest, Hants, was in June this year convicted of possessing 2,600 indecent images.
A court heard he had gathered ‘extreme’ images of sex with an animal and some of the most serious types of child porn.
Russell, 63, is now being investigated by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Vet Robert Russell, who is listed as director of the surgery in the New Forest, Hants, was in June this year convicted of possessing 2,600 indecent images
Customers of Russell’s surgery, Pet Healthcare Centre in the New Forest town of Hythe, have now complained they can longer get access to their late pets after it closed without warning.
It is thought to have closed shut before a pet cremation service could make its latest pick up.
A handwritten notice stuck to the inside of the front door said: ‘Due to business issues currently beyond our control we have had to temporarily close the practice.’
Its Facebook account has been taken down and an automated message on its voicemail said ‘due to unforeseen circumstances the veterinary practice is now closed’.
Julia Godwin, of Hythe, took her elderly cat Millie to the surgery after the animal’s health began to fail.
Mrs Godwin said: ‘She’d been with us for 16 years and was a big part of the family.
‘But the vets said there was nothing they could really do for her and told us it would be kinder to put her down.
‘They offered to send her off for cremation and said we could collect the ashes. That was on the Friday. On the Monday the practice suddenly closed without notice.
‘We’ve been informed that our cat is still at the practice, along with a pet dog that had also been put to sleep.
A handwritten notice stuck to the inside of the front door said: ‘Due to business issues currently beyond our control we have had to temporarily close the practice’
‘We don’t know if or when we will get Millie’s ashes. We have tried everything to make contact.
‘Someone from a pet crematorium came to collect Millie and the dog and deliver the ashes of pets that had already been cremated.
‘They hadn’t been told the surgery had closed and couldn’t access the premises. The dog’s owner must be going through what we’re going through.’
Writing on social media, one person said: ‘PCS [Pet Cremation Services] brought my dog’s ashes to Hythe to find it closed. The driver is now taking the ashes back to Newbury and I have to wait to find out what happens next.’
In June this year, Russell appeared at Southampton Crown Court, Hants, and admitted making indecent photographs of children, possessing a prohibited image of a child, and possessing extreme pornographic images involving animals.
He was handed a two-year community order, including a requirement to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order that will remain in force for five years.
He amassed his collection between August 2013 and November 2019.
The vet, from Lyndhurst, Hants, is a ‘risk to children’, it was said.
Speaking after the case Dan Rowling, of Hampshire Constabulary’s internet child abuse team, said: ‘This was a long, protracted case – but we have taken robust action to put Russell in front of the courts and to secure a conviction.
‘He clearly poses a risk to children with the significant number of indecent images that he had created and possessed during a six-year period.’
A spokesperson for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons said: ‘We are aware of the court case and, now it has concluded, will begin our own investigation into the matter.’
MailOnline has contacted the surgery for comment.
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