Two young people have been disqualified from keeping animals for life for starving two pet dogs, one of which later died.
19-year-old Danielle Rogers of Durham Road and Keeley Scott, also 19 of Chedworth Drive, Worcester were convicted in their absence, of two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs called Patch and Lulu, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
The couple were each sentenced to a 12-month community order with 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay a total of £355 each, they were also disqualified from keeping animals for life.
Skinny Patch - a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier - had been handed into a vet practice in Worcester in December 2016 and RSPCA inspectors were called by concerned staff.
“He was frightfully thin, you could see every bone in his body including the shape of his skull - he was a walking skeleton. He weighed just 9.8kg - around half what he should have weighed as an adult, male Staffy.”
Inspector Hayward managed to trace Patch’s owners who admitted that their second dog, a crossbreed called Lulu, had died and they’d dumped her body in a plastic bag in a park nearby.
A post mortem showed she had starved to death.Inspector Hayward added:
“Those poor dogs were locked inside a flat, hidden away from view and left to slowly die. Their basic needs simply weren’t met and as they lost more and more weight their owners simply ignored them. Sadly, it was too late for poor Lulu but Patch had a chance and we were determined to get him back to health.” >
Staff at Ambleside Vets in Worcester gave him round-the-clock care to nurse him back to health and build his weight to 16kg.
His rehabilitation was made more difficult by a medical condition he was suffering from called megaesophagus, meaning his oesophagus did not function properly, so he couldn’t get food into his stomach easily.
Once he was strong enough, Patch went to the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre, in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, where staff set about trying to help him eat properly - with his meals fed to him in an upright chair allowing his food to move down into his stomach.
Patch soon caught the attention of dog-lover Lulu Jenkins, from St Albans, and he went off to join her and her pack of six other rescue dogs.
"Now he’ll never need to worry again about when his next meal is coming or whether he’ll eat that day. He is great and lives life to the full, he has settled in really well and gets on well with the other dogs and animals. He can eat normally and enjoys having treats and chews. He is utterly ball obsessed and loves chasing feathers from the geese when they’re floating around the garden. He is such a character and we love him to pieces.”