Harrogate brothers banned from owning pets after starving dogs rescued from filthy flat

The dogs were found living in accommodation littered with rubbish and excrement

The brother of a man banned from keeping pets after starving dogs were found living in a filthy flat covered in faeces has also been disqualified.

Charlie Nelson, 28, of Woodfield View in Harrogate, was handed a 12-month community order and a five-year ban by magistrates in York.

His brother Robbie Nelson received a similar punishment in July.

It comes after a court heard the brothers neglected their dogs so badly their ribs were clearly visible. A vet classified them as malnourished.

RSPCA inspector Tom Hutton found a mastiff called Rocco and a lurcher called Smudge living in dirty conditions surrounded by household waste with areas covered in excrement and the carpets soaked in urine, when he was called out by the police in 2021.

A vet who examined the dogs concluded both animals were malnourished.

Both dogs were seized by the officers when Robbie Nelson refused to sign them over to the RSPCA.

Charlie Nelson was not at the flat at the time of the visit but did not contest the finding of guilt at an earlier court hearing.

In mitigation, Nelson implied his brother, Robbie, was mainly responsible for the dogs although he accepted as a joint owner he should have ensured the needs of the animals were met while he was away from the flat.

The magistrates told Nelson: “We have taken account of the sentence imposed on the co-defendant who was also your brother. We do not accept that any distinction should be drawn in your respective roles and therefore we will sentence you in identical terms.”

Charlie Nelson was also ordered to pay combined costs and a victim surcharge of £295.

Rocco and Smudge are now back to a healthy weight after their ordeal

After the hearing, inspector Hutton said: "We thank North Yorkshire Police for alerting us to the dreadful situation Rocco and Smudge were in. It meant we were able to rescue them and now we will be able to find them new homes where they are loved and cared for."

The animal charity is now seeking new owners for Rocco and Smudge who have returned to a healthy weight and condition after their ordeal.

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