A WORCESTER couple have been banned from keeping pets for life after starving one dog to death and causing unnecessary suffering to another.
Danielle Rogers, 19, of Durham Road, and Keeley Scott, 19, of Chedworth Drive, were sentenced to 12 month community orders with a 30 day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay £355 each following a hearing at Worcester Magistrates Court.
The young pair were convicted in their absence in July of two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to Patch and Lulu, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
Rogers and Scott admitted dumping their crossbreed Lulu in a plastic bag in a park after she starved to death.
Their admission came after skinny Patch, a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier, was handed into Ambleside Vets in December 2016.
Rachel Hayward, a RSPCA inspector who was called by the concerned veterinary staff, said: “He was frightfully thin. You could see every bone in his body including the shape of his skull – he was a walking skeleton.
“He weighed just 9.8kg – around half what he should have weighed as an adult, male Staffy.”
Insp Hayward managed to trace Patch’s owners, who admitted that their second dog Lulu had died and they had dumped her body in a nearby park.
“Those poor dogs were locked inside a flat, hidden away from view and left to slowly die. Their basic needs simply weren’t met and as they lost more and more weight their owners simply ignored them,” she added.
“Sadly, it was too late for poor Lulu, but Patch had a chance and we were determined to get him back to health.”
Staff at Ambleside Vets gave Patch round-the-clock care to nurse him back to health and build his weight to 16kg.
His rehabilitation was made more difficult by a medical condition he was suffering from called megaesophagus, meaning his oesophagus did not function properly, so he couldn’t get food into his stomach easily.
Once he was strong enough, Patch went to the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre, in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, where staff set about trying to help him eat properly.
Insp Hayward added: “It worked and he soon caught the attention of dog-lover Lulu Jenkins, from St Albans, where he went off to join her and her pack of six other rescue dogs.
“I’m so pleased he got a happy ending after everything he has been through. He’ll never need to worry again about when his next meal is coming or whether he’ll eat that day.”