Dog abandoned in faeces-filled Southampton property starved to death

A court heard that Rocky was discovered by a dog warden who found his emaciated body in a room among “hundreds” of faeces. Credit: RSPCA

A dog who was abandoned in a faeces-filled property in Southampton starved to death.

Carrie Hansford, 43, of Wickham Court, Southampton, left 10-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Rocky in her property in Junction Road, Totton, Southampton, when she moved in with her partner and wasn’t allowed to have pets.

A court heard that Rocky was discovered by a dog warden who found his emaciated body in a room among “hundreds” of faeces.

An expert vet witness for the RSPCA said in a statement, which was presented to court: “In the kitchen area there are hundreds of faeces deposits. The faeces appear to be formed but dry, some crumbled and others with a layer of mould.

“There were also a number of household items on the floor along with a deceased male brindle and white Staffordshire Bull terrier type dog. The dog was wearing a slack collar and the bony prominences were easily observed.”

The court heard that Rocky had died from starvation and dehydration. The vet stated: “The amount of faeces build-up in the kitchen area would be consistent with Rocky having had access to food and water on a regular basis for a prolonged period as indicated by Carrie Hansford.

“However, at some point  this must have stopped and a lack of access to food caused Rocky to lose weight and arrive at an emaciated bodily condition.

“More importantly, at some point in time Rocky’s access to water must have also stopped resulting in dehydration and death.

"It is therefore likely that at some point Hansford stopped attending the address, resulting in Rocky becoming dehydrated causing the animals death with concurrent weight loss due to a concurrent lack of food. 

“In addition, Rocky would have been spending long periods of time in social isolation. As a social species this would have affected the mental health of this animal.”

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court banned Hansford from keeping animals for five years and gave her a four-month prison sentence suspended for 12 months after she pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences at an earlier hearing. She was also ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Following the sentencing, an RSPCA spokesperson said: “Dogs are completely reliant on their owners and to not provide for their needs is a breach of the law. Providing food, water and a suitable living environment are essential elements of that care.

“The vet highlighted that Rocky had been left with food and water for a prolonged period of time and the suffering Rocky endured as a result is unimaginable.”

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