#TheList Richard Blair-Forster, born 01/12/1995, of 21 Walker Road, Workington CA14 5EX – neglected four dogs, two of whom almost died
Richard Blair-Forster, who lives with his mother and sister neither of whom faced charges, admitted neglecting German Shepherds Bailey, Rocco and Denver and Golden Retriever Mia.
Steven Marsh, prosecuting, told magistrates that when RSPCA Inspector Martyn Fletcher visited Blair-Forster’s home he described the dogs as lethargic and emaciated and in need of immediate medical attention.
Mr Marsh said: “The defendant refused to allow the dogs to be removed and the RSPCA inspector had to leave and request police assistance due to threats being made.”
Two of the dogs had to be carried into the veterinary surgery, Millcroft Vets, as they were unable to bear their own weight.
The examining vet found the pets to be considerably underweight, with muscle loss and suffering from dehydration. She estimated the neglect had been taking place for around two months.
Bailey only weighed 15.2 kg instead of the expected 34-43 kg when he was found. It took 25 days of medical care for him to recover before he could go to foster care. It was five days before he could hold his head up and six days before he could stand.
Another one of the German Shepherds had to be hospitalised for 12 days and given treatment such as intravenous fluids.
Mr Marsh said: “The vet said in 17 years of veterinary practice she had never seen dogs as starved as these two. The dogs have gone on to make good recovery.”
During a police interview, Blair-Forster told officers he “fed the dogs near-enough every day.” He also claimed he bought their food before he fed himself due to financial difficulties.
Ryan Foley, defending, told the court his client “accepts these dogs shouldn’t have been in that state in the first place, but the cause is incompetent care rather than something more nasty.”
Mr Foley added the defendant struggled to cope issues in his personal life, lacked maturity and often buried his head rather than deal with problems.
Speaking after the sentencing Inspector Fletcher said: “This result shows how seriously the magistrates have taken this. If you have animals you have to take responsibility for them. Three of the dogs are already in foster care and are doing brilliantly.
“I’d like to highlight the work Millcroft vets did. When we took the first two dogs to them we told each other they were too far gone to be saved. But Millcroft did a sterling job to bring them round. They were as close to death as I’ve ever seen.”
The dogs will now be rehomed by the RSPCA.
Jailed for 16 weeks for the animal cruelty offence. He was also given two further weeks in jail for assaulting RSPCA Inspector Fletcher. £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any animal for 15 years.