Tag Archives: kept in unsuitable conditions

Shepperton, Surrey: Maurice Smith

#TheList traveller and habitual criminal Maurice Smith, born c. 1988, of Hawthorn Way, Shepperton TW1 – subjected a horse to prolonged neglect and mistreatment

Traveller Maurice Smith from Shepperton, Surrey, subjected horse April to neglect and ill-treatment
April

Maurice Smith, who has a previous conviction for conning a 92-year-old woman out of her life savings, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Gypsy traveller Smith, formerly of Littleton Lane Caravan Park in Shepperton and a drug and alcohol abuser, was charged under the Animal Welfare Act after evidence emerged of how he had subjected the horse, named April, to prolonged neglect and ill-treatment, which had left her in extreme distress.

A number of witnesses initially contacted police in April 2018 to report that the horse was in distress. She had been left double rugged in temperatures of 24 degrees without shade and was sweating profusely.

Police attended the location and decided that April needed immediate medical care and seized her under the Animal Welfare Act.

After a full medical examination by a vet, April was found to be undernourished, with multiple sores, was wearing ill-fitting handmade shoes which were causing her foot pain, and was suffering from worms or a viral infection. The vet said that she had been subjected to poor management and undue suffering.

Smith was identified as April’s owner but initially denied that she belonged to him when he was interviewed. However, he later admitted that she was his and said that he had asked a vet to examine April and that she was being treated with antibiotics. However, he could not provide any details in relation to the treatment April received.

The court heard evidence from a number of witnesses in relation to the lack of care given to April, to which Smith was also unable to provide any explanation.

Investigating officer PC Chloe Hodgkinson said: “This was a complex investigation which took many months to bring to fruition.

“I was called to deal with the incident and was shocked by the pitiful state April was in. Due to her condition, I decided to seize her under the Animal Welfare Act so that she could immediately begin receiving the medical treatment that she needed.

“From speaking to a number of witnesses, it soon became apparent that April had been suffering over a prolonged period. I put a case together against her owner, Maurice Smith, which resulted in him being charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and being brought before the court last week.”

PC Hodgkinson added: “April has since received the care and treatment that she needed and is making a good recovery. I hope that this case will deter other owners from neglecting their animals and send a strong message that if you are caught, you will be dealt with.”

Sentencing: 12 month community order involving 120 hours of unpaid work; total of £485 costs and charges.

Surrey Police
Eagle Radio

Gedling, Nottinghamshire: Lisa Featherstone

#TheList Lisa Featherstone, born c. 1978, of Perlethorpe Avenue, Gedling NG4 4GG – kept starving dogs in horrific conditions

Lisa Featherstone was banned from keeping dogs for an astounding six months after neglecting Diesel and Rocky and leaving them to starve
Lisa Featherstone was banned from keeping dogs for an astounding six months after neglecting Diesel and Rocky and leaving them to starve

Featherstone admitted cruelty to her pet dogs Diesel and Rocky, one of whom was found close to death.

The court heard RSPCA inspector Dave MacAdam visited Featherstone’s home on December 6, 2018.

He had been told of problems faced by German Shepherd Rocky, who was kept in the muddy back garden.

Paul Wright, prosecuting, said: “The dog was in such a bad state that there was a risk of dying.”

Featherstone allowed the inspector into the house where he found Staffordshire bull terrier Diesel inside a wire cage.

“It was immediately seen to be in a poor condition. Its ribs and spine were prominent through a short coat,” said Mr Wright.

The dogs were taken to a vet who assessed them on a scale of one to five, with one being regarded as “emaciated” and three the normal standard for a healthy dog. Rocky was classed as “emaciated” and Diesel was one level better.

“This was down to malnutrition, an inadequate diet for at least one month,” Mr Wright told the court.

But in another month, both dogs had made a good recovery and their condition was normal. Rocky’s weight had risen by 60 per cent and Diesel’s had increased by 25 per cent.

Matthew Smith, mitigating, said: “In many ways, this is a sad case and there is no excuse from Miss Featherstone, simply an explanation.

“This is born out of an inability to cope with financial hardship rather than deliberate neglect of those dogs.

“She cut corners with feeding them and she accepts that. Whilst the dogs were fed, they were not fed enough and not given food of sufficient quality.

“Both have been loved family pets,” added Mr Smith, who applied for their return to her home.

He said Featherstone “rescued” Diesel nine years ago from a pub where she worked. She had Rocky for two years.

But District Judge Tim Spruce refused to allow the dogs to go back, telling Featherstone: “I can’t take the risk against the background of your current situation that the dogs would not be neglected again.”
As part of the probation order, she will get help in “problem solving, finances, relationships and emotions”.

Sentencing: one year’s probation; total of £235 costs and charges. Banned from keeping any dog for six months.

Nottingham Post

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We understand that Lisa Featherstone works in the cafe at the Netherfield branch of Morrisons. We hope her employer is aware of her animal cruelty conviction and reconsidering whether she is a suitable employee.

Tredworth, Gloucester: Derrick Daniel Dawkins

#TheList Derrick Daniel Dawkins, born 1962, of 5 Clement Street, Tredworth, Gloucester GL1 4JW – left two dogs outside continuously during the ‘Beast from East’ snowstorm

Derrick Daniel Dawkins
Derrick Daniel Dawkins

Bull terriers Dessa and Diesel were found in a snow-covered yard without shelter as temperatures dropped below freezing. One of the dogs was tethered by a chain and had become entangled. Both had untreated painful lesions and sores on their legs and bodies.

Callous Derrick Daniel Dawkins from Gloucester left two dogs outside during the freezing Beast from the East snowstorm  of winter 2018
Callous Derrick Daniel Dawkins from Gloucester left two dogs outside during the freezing Beast from the East snowstorm of winter 2018

Now the dogs’ cruel owner Derrick Daniel Dawkins, has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping any animal for 10 years.

Investigating RSPCA Inspector Phil Mann said: “As temperatures dropped below zero and snow covered the country, Dessa and Diesel were outside day and night without appropriate shelter.

“When I saw them locked outside, I feared that if I didn’t help them straight away there would have been two dead dogs in the following morning.

“Simply leaving pets outside to fend for themselves without shelter should never be seen as an option.

“Dogs must have constant access to a suitable shelter, and owners should also ensure bedding and sleeping areas are warm, dry and away from any draughts.

“It is shocking that Dawkins left these dogs outside during such horrendous conditions and even more heartbreaking to discover they had been left to suffer with painful, untreated sores.”

Dessa and Diesel have both now recovered from their ordeal while in the care of the team at the Cotswold Dogs and Cats Home.

The team is working with Diesel to prepare him for rehoming, whereas the RSPCA has said five-year-old Dessa is already looking for a special someone to give her a second chance.

Beautiful Dessa has recovered from her ordeal at the hands of Derrick Daniel Dawkins and is looking forward to being spoiled in a loving new home
Beautiful Dessa has recovered from her ordeal at the hands of Derrick Daniel Dawkins and is looking forward to being spoiled in a loving new home

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “Dessa loves nothing more than spending time with people and playing with toys.

“She would be best suited to a home with no other animals or children and is looking for an experienced owner with time and patience.

“She hasn’t had as much life experience and can find new environments overwhelming, although she is slowly learning that it is okay to snuggle up on the sofa.”

Sentencing:
18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. £750 in court costs. Banned from keeping any animal for ten years.

ITV News
GloucestershireLive

Cambridge: Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets

#TheList Benjamin Rudge, born September 1975, and Olena Lobunets, born December 1971, both of 8 Richard Foster Road, Cambridge CB2 8DW – left a herd of fallow deer to starve to death in a field

The deer left to starve at Clermont Hall by callous Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets from Cambridge. The surviving animals have recovered well in the care of the RSPCA.
The deer left to starve at Clermont Hall by callous Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets from Cambridge. The surviving animals have recovered well in the care of the RSPCA.

Benjamin Rudge and Olena Lobunets left 14 fallow deer in a paddock at Clermont Hall, Little Cressingham, Thetford, without food or shelter through the worst of the Beast from the East.

During a visit to the property in February 2018, RSPCA inspectors found one deer had died and another had collapsed. The collapsed animal and three others subsequently died.

Former company director Rudge and Ukrainian national Lobunets had been renting out the mansion and three cottages as a holiday home from £3,956 a week for up to 36 people at a time.

Jonathan Eales, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said a housekeeper was employed to look after the property and the fallow deer but he did not have money for animal feed.

He said the animal welfare charity visited the hall after it was contacted by walkers concerned at the condition of the deer.

Inspectors found the animals were emaciated, while their pen was bare of any grass and infested with molehills.

RSPCA workers began visiting to feed the animals, but three more died.

Mr Eales said post mortem examinations revealed the deer were severely underweight and emaciated.

He said: ‘These deer died as a result of neglect. They were malnourished, dehydrated, they were incapable of surviving in an enclosure where there was insufficient food and no shelter.’

Speaking after the hearing, a spokesman for the RSPCA recalled the state of the deer when they first arrived at the estate.

He said: ‘The deer were very skinny – you could clearly see their ribs and their hip bones were protruding.

‘We hoped to remove the animals but expert vets said they were too weak to be moved at that stage. Vets advised us to feed them and our officers, who had launched an investigation, visited them daily to monitor their condition.

‘Ongoing tests established that, in addition to underfeeding, there were problems with worms and poisonous ragwort in the field so the herd needed to be moved to new pastures before ragwort started to come through in spring.

‘The owners failed to move the herd so vets felt they needed to be taken into our care.’

The spokesperson added: ‘The deer have recovered well and are now living with a private deer keeper.

Sentencing: deprivation order to pass ownership of the surviving deer to the RSPCA. Banned from keeping deer for two years. No costs were awarded and no further penalties were ordered against the couple.

Daily Mail
Eastern Daily Press

Horncastle, Lincolnshire: Vicki Ann Ball

#TheList Vicki Ann Ball, born 28/07/1981, of 31 Mark Avenue, Horncastle LN9 5BD – allowed her cockerpoo dog to become so poorly he had to be euthanised on welfare grounds; denied that the dog was hers and showed no remorse

Vicki Ann Ball from Horncastle and Ned, the cockerpoo she allowed to get into such a horrific condition he had to be immediately put to sleep
Callous Vicki Ann Ball from Horncastle and her cockerpoo Ned. The little dog had to be put to sleep on welfare grounds due to Ball’s appalling neglect of him

Vicki Ball pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to her black cockerpoo, named Ned, who was found by an examining vet to be in a collapsed state, with his coat matted with faeces and urine. His skin was covered in open wounds, which were infested with maggots.

The court heard that Ball took Ned to a dog rescue in June 2018 claiming that she had found the stricken dog on her lawn. The rescue took Ned to a vet who took the decision to put him to sleep immediately to end his suffering.

Dog killer Vicki Ball from Horncastle, Lincolnshire
Remorseless: Vicki Ball showed complete disregard for her dog’s welfare

During interview with the RSPCA, Ball said she had owned Ned in the past, but had given him away on Facebook ‘free to a good home’ in early 2018. She was unable to provide any evidence of this, however.

An RSPCA inspector visited Ball’s address and noticed a run at the side of the house that was being dismantled and had dog faeces in it.

A witness gave evidence that they had seen her with Ned recently and the dog was microchipped to her.

Abused cockerpoo Ned had multiple skin lesions, which were infested with maggots
Abused cockerpoo Ned had multiple skin lesions, which were infested with maggots

RSPCA Inspector Kate Burris said: “This was one of the most distressing cases I have dealt with because of the utter lack of any emotion or empathy displayed by the owner towards this dog.”

In mitigation, the court heard that Ball had pleaded guilty and had no previous convictions. It was said that she found Ned difficult to look after due to family commitments and his behaviour.

Sentencing
12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work. Fine and charges totalling £584. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

Lincolnshire Reporter
ITV News

Shirenewton, Cardiff: Tony Israel Price

#TheList Tony Israel Price, born c. 1962, of 6 Shirenewton Caravan Site, Wentloog Road, Cardiff CF3 2EE – neglected three ponies

One of the three piebald mares left to suffer by her gypsy owner Tony Price

Gypsy traveller Tony Israel Price was found guilty of three horse cruelty offences after failing to take advice from the RSPCA about their care.

In July 2018 RSPCA inspectors Christine McNeil and Simon Evans attended a field off Redway Road, Bonvilston and found 13 horses with “very poor grazing” with ragwort present, and one mare in particular in “very poor condition”.

“During this visit a vet examination was carried out and advice was passed onto the owner as well as a warning notice issued for the poor body condition of the mare,” said inspector McNeil.

“We then re-visited in August and I attended with chief inspector Elaine Spence and the mare’s condition had deteriorated. A vet on site was of the opinion that she was suffering and the two other mares did not have their needs met and would be likely to suffer if their circumstances did not change.

“Sadly our advice had not been taken on board and we had to take action. Further advice was also issued for the remaining horses at the location.”

The three piebald mares were signed over to the charity and will be made available for rehoming.

Sentencing: 18-month conditional discharge; £1,000 costs and a victim surcharge.

Horse & Hound

Redcar, North Yorkshire: John Pybus

#TheList John Pybus, born 06/02/1963, of Grewgrass Farm, Grewgrass Lane, Marske-by-the-Sea, Redcar TS11 8EB: left four horses to suffer with maggot-infested wounds and serious fractures; two horses had to be euthanised to end their suffering

Suffering horses were discovered at John Pybus's farm in Marske-By-The-Sea. Two of them - Dimitri and Jango - had to be put to sleep
John Pybus of Grewgrass Farm, Marske-By-The-Sea caused unnecessary suffering to horses Cliff, Dimitri, Jango and Tizer, who were all underfed and in need of urgent veterinary care. Sadly, Dimitri and Jango could not be saved

Pybus pleaded guilty to five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Cliff, Dimitri, Jango and Tizer, between July 30 and December 27, 2018.

The RSPCA and the World Horse Welfare organisation attended Pybus’s address in August 2018 after receiving a call from a member of the public worried about two horses.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Mark Gent said: “The grey horse, Dimitri, had a wound to his right shoulder that was maggot-infested. The area he was in had very limited grazing, no hay or supplementary food and the water available to him was green.

“Cliff, a bay, appeared to be very thin, with his ribs, hips and spine all visible and he appeared to be lethargic with his head hanging low.”

The two horses were seized by police and taken into the care of World Horse Welfare. It was discovered that Dimitri had fractured withers and was put to sleep on vet advice. Cliff remains with the charity.

World Horse Welfare field officer Sarah Tucker said: “Wherever possible we will always try to work with horse owners to resolve problems in situ, but unfortunately Pybus ignored the advice and guidance given to him.

“Dimitri was clearly in need of urgent medical attention for his painful wound and both horses were in very poor condition – even though there was a barn full of hay at the premises.

“Thankfully, we were able to remove both Dimitri and Cliff to safety and give them both the dedicated care and veterinary treatment they needed.

“Dimitri was found to be suffering fractured withers which could not be treated so the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep but thankfully Cliff is flourishing in our care and will be looking for a new home soon.”

There was a barnful of hay at the stables, but Pybus neglected to feed his animals and in December 2018, RSPCA inspectors returned to find a horse collapsed.

Chief Inspector Gent said: “A chestnut gelding called Jango was found down and gasping for breath when the inspector arrived.

“He was very thin and his ribs, hips and spine were all visible.

“He had a bandage on his front foreleg, and when the bandage was removed there was a wound which was very smelly, soft to touch and was oozing with puss. He also had numerous patches of rain scald that were red in colour. Pybus said the horse had become ill quickly and he was planning to get a vet out to him.

“Jango was seen by a vet at the scene and they advised that he should be put to sleep to prevent him suffering any further.”

A five-year-old chestnut gelding horse called Tizer was in another stable at the site. He was also thin with his spine and hips visible. He and two other horses were signed over to the RSPCA and removed. They remain in RSPCA care whilst they are being prepared for rehoming. A further horse was signed over at sentencing and is being assessed.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 12-month community order’ £915 in costs. Banned from keeping all animals except dogs for ten years.

Northern Echo
RSPCA News

Stapleford Abbotts, Romford: Edwin Harris

#TheList persistent hoarder Edwin Harris, born c. 1939, of Murthering Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford RM4 – kept 13 dogs, six pigs, six cockerels, two ducks, four cats, a pigeon and a rook in foul conditions; breached previous ban

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.

Harris was banned from keeping animals for life for a second time after he admitted breaching a previous ban when he was found to be keeping a large number of animals in appalling conditions.

He also admitted failing to provide the animals with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to Bella, a Shar Pei-type dog, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of her ear and skin conditions.

The RSPCA attended the address in May 2018 with the police and found a large number of animals being kept in appalling conditions.

Edwin Harris continued to acquire animals despite being disqualified for life from having any. He then kept them in appalling conditions.
A Jack Russell rescued from a life of misery at the hands of her cruel owner Edwin Harris

Dogs were found in small cages covered in mess and faeces with little or no water, and one was even found locked inside a cupboard which had been turned into a makeshift cage.

Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.
Six pigs were kept in a narrow space in an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round.

The cockerels, pigeon and rook were also kept in small cages covered in faeces, and the pigs were kept in a small narrow space within an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round or exercise.

RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “The conditions were appalling, most of the small animals and dogs were kept in cages and probably had not known any other life. They had obviously never been socialised and were scared.

“The cages had not been cleaned out and the animals were surrounded in their own faeces and dirt. If they did have water it was usually filthy. I was horrified to find one small Jack Russell being kept in a cupboard that the defendant had converted into some kind of makeshift cage.

“By his own admission the defendant had claimed he had a compulsion to keep animals because he loved them and he couldn’t stop taking them in. Had we not removed these animals it’s likely the numbers would have only increased – one of the pigs we removed had later had a litter of piglets.

“I hope that now he has been sentenced by the court the defendant will learn his lesson and not get animals which he clearly is unable to look after properly.”

Although the matter had crossed a custody threshold the bench said they had taken into account the defendant’s age and vulnerability and the fact that he has never been to prison before, but were keen for him to have some rehabilitation

In 2014 Harris was disqualified from keeping animals for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Sentencing: Two-year community order with the requirement to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; costs of £1,300 and a £85 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Romford Recorder

Bradford, West Yorkshire: Lee Mark Aveyard

#TheList Lee Mark Aveyard, born 06/06/1991, of Broadstone Way, Holme Wood, Bradford BD4 – kept a husky in a filthy cupboard; deprived him of food and water

Lee Aveyard from Bradford was given a ten-year animal ban after his husky collapsed in his own filth
Lee Aveyard from Bradford was given a ten-year animal ban after his husky collapsed in his own filth

The emaciated dog, called Kenz, was found collapsed in his own filth inside the cupboard, which had been turned into a dog pen.

Kenz’s owner Lee Aveyard pleaded guilty to one offence of failing to meet the needs of Kenz by failing to provide a suitable environment and one of causing unnecessary suffering to him by failing to explore and address his poor body condition under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Lee Aveyard from Bradford was given a ten-year animal ban after his husky collapsed in his own filth
Convicted dog abuser Lee Mark Aveyard from Bradford

The RSPCA attended Aveyard’s home on 11 October, 2018.

RSPCA chief inspector Heidi Jenner said: “As soon as the inspector walked through the door to the property there was a strong smell of ammonia.

Lee Aveyard from Bradford was given a ten-year animal ban after his husky collapsed in his own filth
Aveyard kept husky Kenz in a filthy cupboard he’d converted into a dog pen

“She was stunned to see where Kenz was living. He was in a cupboard at the top of the stairs that had been turned into a dog pen with chicken wire and bits of wood, wedged in place with a cricket bat.

“Kenz was collapsed in a pool of urine with his back legs sprawled out to the side and surrounded by faeces. There was no evidence of food or water.

“The smell was horrendous and even through his thick coat, which was stained yellow, you could see how skinny he was.

“He was unable to stand, and the inspector said that when she lifted him up by his harness it was like holding a shopping bag, he just hung there.”

Lee Aveyard from Bradford was given a ten-year animal ban after his husky collapsed in his own filth
Neglected husky Kenz was skin and bone

He was taken straight to a vets where he was found to be emaciated with his ribs, spine and pelvis all clearly visible.

Lee Aveyard from Bradford was given a ten-year animal ban after his husky collapsed in his own filth
A painful pressure sore on one of Kenz;s legs

He had pressure sores on his legs, the biggest one on his left hind leg measuring 2.5cm in diameter and 1cm deep.

He was also anaemic. He weighed just 13.7kgs, gaining 2.4kgs in three days. In four weeks he gained 8.8kgs taking him to 22.5kgs – a 64% increase in body weight. Today he weighs in at 34.4kg.

Kenz is in the care of RSPCA Lancashire East Branch – where he has been since November – and staff continue to work with him to prepare him for a forever home.

Stunning: Kenz is recovering in the care of the RSPCA and will soon be available for rehoming

Animal Centre Manager Jeanette Ainscough said: “Seeing Kenz now, it’s hard to believe that he is the same dog.

“His transformation has been absolutely amazing.

“Unfortunately, it hasn’t been without some big setbacks though and as a result Kenz isn’t ready to be adopted just yet.

“It was discovered that some metalwork that must have been put in his leg as a puppy had moved, causing Kenz to be in a lot of pain, so an operation was needed to repair that. We thought he might have to have it amputated but daily physiotherapy and weekly hydrotherapy from the brilliant people at My Vet Hydro has meant we’ve been able to avoid that. My Vet Hydro donate their services to us for free and we can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done to help Kenz, and others.”

Sentencing: 12-month probation order, with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days; five-month curfew order; costs and charges totalling £385. Disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years. A deprivation order was also placed on Kenz.

Telegraph and Argus

North Shields, Tyne and Weir: Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane

#TheList Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane most recently of Newlyn Crescent, North Shields NE25 for severe neglect and food deprivation of a husky puppy and a cat

Animal abusers Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane from North Shields neglected and starved a husky puppy named Missy and a white tabby cat named Cuddles
Animal abusers Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane from North Shields neglected and starved a husky puppy named Missy and a white tabby cat named Cuddles

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.

Husky Missy was skin and bone when the RSPCA rescued her from her callous owners Lee Kiernan and  Ruth Lane of North Shields
Husky Missy was skin and bone when the RSPCA rescued her from her callous owners Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane of North Shields

The court heard how Kiernan told one RSPCA officer to “fuck offbefore 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.

Sentencing:
Both jailed for 24 weeks. No mention of a ban.

ChronicleLive
Daily Mail