#TheList Steven David Arnold, born 29/04/1973, of 420 Whitehall Road, Bristol BS5 7BU – left his pet dog, Layla, to starve to death in an empty house for months
Evidence showed Arnold had neglected Staffy Layla to the point she was forced to drink water from a toilet shortly before her death.
Arnold admitted to three offences of causing unnecessary suffering to Layla and was sentenced at Bristol Magistrates Court on Friday, May 5, 2017.
Layla was discovered by council workers after they went to a house in Sarum Crescent, Southmead on December 7, 2016.
They found her skinny, decomposing body, with bedding wrapped around a leg and her abdomen, resulting in gangrene setting in.
Veterinary evidence highlighted how she suffered prolonged neglect over a significant period of time.
The court also heard Layla had no food or water in the lead up to her death and that she had had drank all the water from the toilet.
There was also evidence she had made desperate attempts to try and escape from the house before her death.
Arnold originally denied Layla was his, saying he did not recognise the dog depicted in the pictures.
He told RSPCA inspectors he had owned a similar dog, but that she had died of natural causes and buried her.
But after being shown Facebook pictures featuring him and the dog together and evidence from witnesses, who confirmed he did own Layla, Arnold admitted she was his dog and that he had left her at the address in July 2016.
Arnold claimed that he had moved to a friend’s house from the local authority-owned property after being bullied by his neighbours.
He said he had initially visited the dog every few days to give her food and water but claimed he was suddenly unable to get into the property and said he assumed Layla had been taken away from the address.
RSPCA Inspector Dan Hatfield said: “Layla was dependent on Mr Arnold and he breached her trust by heartlessly leaving her to suffer a needless death.
“We do not know just how long it took poor Layla to die alone but know she suffered as a result of the actions of her owner.
“He could have handed Layla over to the RSPCA or another animal charity when he was aware he could no longer care for her but instead decided to simply abandon her to die after a period of prolonged suffering.”
12 weeks in prison for each of the three animal welfare offences to run concurrently; total of £415 costs and charges; life-long disqualification on keeping all animals.