#TheList Maria Elaine Louden, born 17/07/1964, and husband Andrew Neilson Louden, born 26/06/1963, formerly of Plymouth, but now of 23 Clyne Court, Sketty, Swansea SA2 8JD – starved and neglected two retired greyhounds
Andrew and Maria Louden, who at the time were living in Ladywell Place, Plymouth, almost starved their flea-riddled greyhoundsTottie and Pebbles to death and left Tottie’s painful sores untreated.
The pair pleaded guilty to failing to adequately feed the pets and get veterinary attention for Tottie’s sores between September 20 and October 4, 2011.
They also admitted to failing to protect both dogs from pain and suffering in not treating their flea infestations.
The Loudens were banned from keeping animals for life but spared jail due to their poor health.
Presiding magistrate Dennis Gavin told the court the dogs were left ‘malnourished, underweight and flea-ridden’.
He added: ‘Had it not been for your medical conditions, you would be going to prison today.’
RSPCA Inspector Sarah Morris, speaking after the case, said it was the worst case of dog cruelty she had seen in 12 years.
She added: ‘A life ban from keeping animals is a brilliant result. The dogs were in such a terrible, tragic state. This case will stay with me.’
Julian Jefferson, representing the Loudens, had said both his clients were disabled and on benefits and had found it hard to feed the dogs adequately because their payments had been ‘suddenly seized’.
Magistrates heard that both dogs were ‘about to die’ when the Loudens finally took them for treatment.
Andrew Wyatt, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the couple took Tottie to a PDSA animal hospital on October 4, 2011.
Staff said the dog was emaciated, flea-ridden and had sores on his hindquarters.
Pebbles was also examined by a vet and found to be in a similarly poor state and close to death.
Mr Wyatt said Tottie, known as ‘Bubbly Tottie’, had previously won the greyhound St Leger, a famous competition at Wimbledon Stadium, and once changed hands for £50,000.
Both greyhounds made full recoveries and were rehomed.
Sentencing: eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months; four-month curfew; £200 in costs each. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
Update May 2017: Wales Online reported that the Loudens were fined a total of £520 between them after breaching their ban on keeping animals. RSPCA inspectors, acting on a tip-off, found a guinea pig and two hamsters in their home at Clyne Court, Sketty, in March 2017.