#TheList Michelle Louise Brown, born 14/10/1986, formerly of Jessica Crescent, Totton, Southampton and more recently (2019) 125 Farringford Road, Southampton SO19 6PF- buried a starving puppy alive in cardboard box covered by a bin bag before dumping box in a ditch next to a children’s play area
In June 2015 mother-of-three Brown abandoned puppy Narla, who was covered in urine and faeces, in a cardboard box hidden inside a bin bag near a playground on the Hazel Farm estate, Totton.
The emaciated crossbreed was found on the brink of death, whimpering inside the box by a dog walker.
The puppy had been so hungry that she had started to eat the box and had so many infections from such poor living conditions that she couldn’t even open her eyes.
Eventually vets were forced to put down the mistreated animal and were only able to track down Brown because of Narla’s microchip.
Brown told inspectors that she thought the dog was dead and buried her in a hole in the garden, but eventually admitted she neglected the puppy.
In a statement read out to the court, the dog walker who found Narla said her dogs kept sniffing a particular area in the field near some bushes and as she got closer she heard a faint whimpering sound and knew immediately that it was a puppy.
The woman immediately called for the help of a young man nearby, who climbed down into the ditch.
In the ditch, there was a pungent smell. A bin bag was wrapped around a cardboard box, with Narla’s dying, skeletal body inside. She was collapsed and so emaciated she couldn’t even lift her head.
The woman took Narla home and tried to clean her eyes because they were forced shut from an infection which was making her weep, but the puppy seemed too distressed. The pup was rushed to the vets for emergency treatment but couldn’t be saved. She was found to be severely malnourished and dehydrated and vets guessed that she had been starving for between four and eight weeks.
Her body had started to shut down because of malnourishment and she had picked up infections, her breathing was shallow and she was so weak she couldn’t stand or lift her head.
The vet was forced to put her down because Narla would not have recovered from the infections.
RSPCA Inspector Penny Baker visited Brown to investigate what had happened.
Prosecuting, Sarah Wheadon said: “On entering the house Inspector Baker noticed a strong smell of urine.
“She told Miss Brown that Narla had been found alive dumped in a box in a bin bag but had been euthanised.
“Inspector Baker found Miss Brown’s behaviour very odd – she didn’t cry or get angry.”
Brown said Narla was poorly and thought it was because of the weed killer she had put down in the garden.
The next day Brown said she found Narla laying still and she didn’t appear to be breathing so she dug a hole in the garden, put her puppy in a bin bag and buried her.
The court was told that Inspector Parker could not find any evidence of a hole in the garden but Brown insisted that someone must have dug up the grave and stolen Narla.
Mitigating, Brown’s solicitor told the court that her client is a full-time carer for her partner who has cerebral palsy and also battles severe depression, claiming this could have contributed to her serious neglect of the new pet.
RSPCA inspector Penny Baker, who led the investigation, said: “This is honestly one of the most bizarre and horrific cases I have dealt with in my whole career at the RSPCA.
“Narla was a bag of bones and had not been taken to the vets. This was a severe case of neglect.
“We hope this case sends a message to people that not only will cruelty of this nature never be tolerated but it comes with a penalty.”
12 week suspended sentence; £630 financial penalty; disqualified indefinitely from owning any animal.