A PATTERDALE terrier called Alfie died as it was being taken to the vet after suffering extensive injuries, a court heard.

Blackburn magistrates heard Joshua Raymond Coupe rang the RSPCA and told them of his dog's injuries and also said he had kicked it because is had weed on his bed.

The dog's body was exhumed and a post mortem revealed two sets of injuries, inflicted four days apart, the court heard.

Coupe, 20, of Oban Drive, Shadsworth pleaded guilty to two charges of causing suffering to the dog by not ensuring it received proper veterinary care. Two charges of inflicting injuries on the dog were dismissed.

Coup was ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay £300 costs and £85 victim surcharge. He was also banned from keeping any animal for five years.

Kyra Badman, prosecuting, said an RSPCA receptionist received a call from Coupe, who said he was worried about his dog Alfie. It was during that call he said he had kicked the dog.

The receptionist told him to take the dog to a vet and the RSPCA would contribute towards the bill.

Coupe then contacted the vets and told them his dog wasn't breathing properly and that he thought it was dying and he was told to bring it in.

"Nothing else was heard from him and she called him back 45 minutes later," said Miss Badman. "He told her the dog had died in the car on the way to the vets."

When the RSPCA visited Coupe he said the dog had died the previous day and he had buried in the back yard. They obtained an exhumation order and the dog was dug up.

"At that stage Coupe said the dog had run off after he kicked it and he thought it had been run over," said Miss Badman. "A post-mortem examination revealed extensive bruising and internal bleeding. The results were interpreted by another vet who said they were all bruises and no abrasions. He concluded it was highly unlikely the injuries had been caused by a car."

The vet said some of the injuries were four days older than the others and they would have caused obvious symptoms.

"In his own phone call he said the dog was in pain and clearly on both occasions it would have been suffering," said Miss Badman.

David Leach, defending, said his client had never accepted that he was responsible for the injuries caused to Alfie. He said the reference to kicking the dog related to an incident when the dog weed on the duvet.

"My client was in bed, under the duvet and barefooted," said Mr Leach. "He pushed the dog off the bed with his foot. It was never accepted that he had kicked it in the ribs."

Mr Leach said Coupe had been genuinely remorseful and maintained he had always treated his pet in a responsible and civilised manner.

After speaking to the RSPCA Coupe got a friend to come and give him a lift to the vets.

"The dog stopped breathing and he gave it mouth to mouth and lung compressions," said Mr Leach. "That worked for a while but when they got in the car it stopped again and he tried to resuscitate it again. That could be relevant to the injuries to the dog's chest.

"He was devastated to lose his pet which was the only animal he has ever owned," added Mr Leach.

RSPCA inspector Nina Small said: "There is no doubt that Alfie had suffered severe injuries which included bruising to his head and ribs, lung rupture and lacerations of the liver.

"We've got no real explanation for how these blunt force trauma injuries occurred. What we do know is that vet treatment wasn't sought early enough and as a result Alfie suffered greatly.

"It would have been a painful death and it took a long time for him to die.

"This case was very distressing for me and my colleague who had to dig poor Alfie up and his memory will stay with us."