Plymouth make-up artist 'starved' pregnant dog and kept her in 'horrendous' conditions

A vet said the dog was very thin, lethargic and suffering from prolonged malnutrition. Credit: BPM Media

A make-up artist from Plymouth has been banned from owning dogs after 'starving' a pregnant dog and keeping her in 'horrendous' conditions.

Zoe Small, aged 31, received the ban after she admitted to two animal welfare offences, following an investigation and prosecution by the RSPCA.

Small, of Tamerton Avenue, St Budeaux, has been banned from keeping dogs for eight years and ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work.

She was sentenced after pleading guilty at Plymouth Magistrates' Court to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to address and identify the cause of Bella’s sudden weight loss, and failing to ensure she was provided with a suitable living environment.

An order made by the court for Bella to be put to sleep but this was later overturned following an appeal from the RSPCA solicitor who opposed this. Bella and her pups will be now be re-homed.

Distressing pictures have been released showing the living conditions the heavily pregnant dog was kept in. Credit: BPM Media

RSPCA Inspector Jim Farr, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, was contacted by vets after Bella, a heavily pregnant black and white female Spaniel, was admitted to the surgery in the evening, before an emergency caesarean.

The vet, who was concerned that Bella was very thin and lethargic, said she was suffering from prolonged malnutrition and that her needs as a pregnant dog were not being met.

As a result the RSPCA launched an investigation and Inspector Farr, who visited the run-down stables where Bella was being kept at Blackdown Meadows, near Kingsbridge, with police and a vet, described what he found.

He said: “The interior was very damp. The floor had an inch or two of sodden earth and other matter which was possibly old shavings. The floor also had a scattering of faeces. In one corner was a small triangular sectioned area which offered some cloth bedding which was damp.

"This sectioned off area would have been too small if Bella had had her pups within it. The rest of the stable offered no dry area if she had given birth on the floor. There was an empty bowl but no water to be seen."

Alongside the disqualification order and unpaid work requirement, Small, a make-up artist trading under the name Make-up by Zoe Small, was ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days and was ordered to pay £250 costs and a £114 victim surcharge.