#TheList Debbie Clara Wills, born c. 1990 of Lower Cranesmoor, Bovington, Wareham BH20 6LR – starved her dog to death and left his emaciated body in a garden shed
Six-year-old black and white springer spaniel, Finn, was matted and had overgrown nails and large open sores when his body was found. The dog weighed 8.8kg at the time of his death – the weight he should have been at three months old.
Wills also kept a second springer spaniel in a terrible condition. That dog, a three-year-old known as Aero, weighed just 6.4kg, and was so thin he was unable to lift his head when RSPCA inspectors visited Wills’ home.
A court heard the dogs had been kept in a cage, with food just beyond their reach. Wills walked past their cage, which was in the hallway of her home, but ignored their suffering.
Officials were alerted by a member of the public concerned for the welfare of Wills’ pets.
RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond visited her home where he found Aero in a collapsed state. The dog’s skull, shoulder bones, spine and leg bones were visible through his fur. He also had very matted ears, open sores, and curled, overgrown nails.
Insp Hammond then found the body of Finn stored in a garden shed. A post-mortem found the dog had starved to death.
Aero was rushed to a vet who provided emergency treatment. Miraculously he recovered and has since been rehomed.
Insp Hammond called the case “heartbreaking”.
“The dogs were in emaciated condition on the hard cage floor. Their open sores, long nails and matted wet ears would have definitely caused both Aero and Finn to suffer greatly,” he said.
“This case is heartbreaking. Debbie Wills ignored the needs and suffering of Aero and Finn.
“Finn died in front of Aero. Aero collapsed soon after Finn, he was so weak he was within hours of death.
“There was food within inches of them, just outside their cage, but sadly too far away.
“During these last days of their lives, Debbie Wills could see that they were losing weight and were dangerously thin but did nothing about it.
“She walked past their cage in her hallway, containing two starving dogs, never taking the opportunity to feed them adequately, take them to a vet or even asking someone for help.”
Wills, who runs a Facebook page called the Glossy Girls Boutique (at time of writing, deactivated), claimed she was struggling to cope because of having a poorly child.
She said her failures were neglectful, rather than intentionally malicious.
Sentencing: six months in prison, suspended for two years. 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Ordered to pay £512. Banned from keeping animals for life with the right of appeal after 10 years.