#TheList Lee Kiernan, born 28/07/1987, and Ruth Lane, born 25/07/1985, previously of North Shields and as of 2020 living together at 49 Ellesmere Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 8TS for severe neglect and food deprivation of a husky puppy and a cat
Ten-month-old husky Missy and white tabby cat Cuddles were found in the couple’s family home.
Old food was piled up on the floor and it was so high, RSPCA officer’s struggled to open the door to rescue the pets.
When they did, the puppy was so hungry she “rushed ” from her cage to eat some of the leftovers.
The court heard how Kiernan told one RSPCA officer to “fuck off” before calling them a “cocky shit” for trying to check on the pets’ welfare.
But they were finally saved amid chaotic scenes at their home.
Inside there was “an overpowering smell of urine and faeces”.
“There were at least 20 flies swarming around the room,” said prosecutor Stewart Haywood.
“The smell was described by RSPCA officers as putrid.”
Eventually they found the pets, with emaciated Missy – who was skin and bone – the worse off.
“Missy had been forced to lie in faeces,” said the prosecutor, adding her coat was stained.
“She was not only starving, but was dehydrated.”
But over the next few months, both Lane and Kiernan gave the RSPCA the “run around”.
Rather than take responsibility, they denied owning them. Kiernan even claimed he was just a dog walker.
Eventually they admitted three charges each – but only after racking up £1,200 costs bill for the charity.
And while they may have to pay some of that, the court heard the duo – now of no fixed abode – would struggle to even pay for a bus to Bedlington due to their “strained financial circumstances”.
Lane already has a conviction for neglecting another dog.
But mitigating, Nigel Body claimed they were “the very last people” who should be jailed due to “the things they would learn”.
“They are an impressionable pair who were unable to cope,” he said, explaining the conditions.
“A period of custody, I don’t see how that would help them in any way.
“It is a regrettable incident, it is an awful incident.
“But these people need help.
“They are clearly a couple needing the intervention of the authorities.
“They are two people unsuitable for custody.”
The duo both admitted failing to ensure Cuddles’ and Missy’s welfare, as well as causing unnecessary suffering to the dog.
Both jailed for 24 weeks. No mention of a ban.