A TEENAGER has been banned from looking after animals for five years after throwing a puppy to the floor and breaking its neck.

Catrina Baker, 18, was sentenced at Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court for causing unnecessary suffering to a three-month-old terrier named Poppy.

Baker, of Lancaster Way, Thornaby, threw the puppy the length of a car during a row with her boyfriend, Raymond Waters, at what was then their shared house in Northallerton Road, Thornaby, near Stockton, the court was told.

John Ellwood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said Baker had picked up Poppy after the dog urinated on the settee “probably because she was frightened during the arguing”.

Baker cried in the court when she heard of how the dog probably died quickly, but only after suffering intense pain while conscious.

Mr Ellwood said: “At first, we received reports the dog had hit a wall or the door, but now people are saying Poppy hit the floor. The force required was substantial.

“The vet gave an opinion that it was rare to see an animal with a broken neck that wasn’t involved in a road traffic accident.”

Neil Douglas, mitigating, said Ms Baker was about 12 days overdue in her first pregnancy and was under substantial stress after arguments with her partner.

She had been around animals all of her life and was now living with a dog and a cat with no question of her ever hurting them. She had never been called to the attention of the police for any wrongdoing before.

He said: “Miss Baker called the puppy to her for comfort when arguing with her partner.

She is mourning the death of the dog. She loved the animal and didn’t want to cause any harm to her and would love to turn back the clock.

“I would also touch on the effects the reports of this case have had on Miss Baker. She has been vilified locally.”

District judge Martin Walker told Miss Baker she will be subject to a supervision order for 18 months and must pay £200 costs. She is banned from keeping animals for five years, although she is allowed to live in a property with two dogs and a cat.