#TheList Emma Michelle Spooner, born 14/11/1980, as at March 2019 of Owen Street, Dudley DY2 7HT – left an elderly rottweiler to starve in his own excrement for five years
Emma Spooner admitted failing to make sure that her 11-year-old dog, named Kane, was provided with a suitable diet and environment.
The grandmother was slammed by a judge for neglecting the elderly animal and exposing her children to the dangerous possibility of being savaged when he became feral.
Spooner kept Kane alive by throwing him scraps in the back yard of her then home in Peel Way, Tividale, near Birmingham.
Summing up at her trial, Judge Graham Wilkinson: ‘You left this dog to fester in the back yard. This poor animal, for five years, lived in a small space, unloved and mostly neglected.
‘He goes feral, because he is not getting love and attention. He is left to lie in his own filth. He’s occasionally thrown food and he wastes away.
‘Had it not been that someone locally alerted the RSPCA, eventually you would have realised you had not seen him for a few days, because he would have wasted away to nothing.
‘He was left to starve slowly and would probably have died a sad, lonely death. All this time, you allowed your children to be at risk.’
At one stage, the judge also halted the proceedings, ordering Spooner to leave the court because she was chewing gum, although he called the case back about 30 minutes later.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Gaynor Sutton said Inspector Steve Morrall had called at Spooner’s home on January 29, 2013, and could see the dog was ‘very lean’. The yard was covered in faeces.
Inspector Morrall threw some food to the starving animal, who quickly gobbled it up.
Speaking to her local newspaper, Spooner said she had tried to get the RSPCA to put him down, but they had wanted £200 to do the job. She was only willing to pay half.
Spooner, whose 14-year-old daughter had a baby son 17 months earlier, said: ‘The dog belonged to my ex-partner.
‘I was under the impression he would look after it and he should have taken it when he left but he didn’t.
‘I was made out in court to be bad but the dog wasn’t kept outside for five years, like they said. He used to come in at night.’
She added: ‘The dog didn’t like women or children and, apart from biting two of the kids, he went for my throat.’
Sentencing: curfew; costs of £1,000. Banned from keeping an animal for five years (expired September 2018).