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Man given jail sentence after leaving dogs to starve on balcony

An RSCA official says Ruby was "so starved, exhausted and close to death". Photo: RSPCA

A 25-year-old man has been given a 18-week jail sentence after leaving his dogs to starve on a balcony of a Bristol flat.

Zach Wood admitted to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of animals in his care.

He was also banned from keeping animals for life.

Neighbours contacted police about a stench coming from the Bristol flat. Credit: RSPCA

Cook's dogs, Ruby and Blacky, were discovered on the balcony of a flat in Beaufort House, Strawbridge Road in Bristol, after concerned neighbours contacted police about a stench coming from the property.

The dogs were found confined to a dirty balcony area covered in faeces and urine.

His way of dealing with no longer wanting to care for his dogs was to pretend they didn’t exist while he continued to get on with his life in the flat attached to the balcony.

When they were discovered, Blacky was stood cowering next to Ruby and was so thin his all his bones were showing.

– RSPCA Inspector Dan Hatfield
Blacky had to be put to sleep by a vet. Credit: RSPCA

Ruby was in an absolutely terrible state. She had completely collapsed and was lying in the squalor, unable to get to her feet and had to be carried to my van in a basket.

It broke my heart to see her use the last bit of energy she had to wag her tail as I carried her out. She was so starved, exhausted and close to death but still managed to try to show love.

We plead with anyone who no longer wants their pets or can no longer care for them to ask for help before it ever gets like this.”

– RSPCA Inspector Dan Hatfield

Both dogs had to be put to sleep by a vet.

Zach Cook, who is already serving six years and two months in prison for unrelated matters, was sentenced at Bristol Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 9 August. He will serve the time concurrently.