Shame of starving terriers

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A WIGAN man has been banned from keeping animals for five years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to two terriers.

Animal welfare investigators who took Jack Russells’ Sabbath and Tyrer into safe keeping said the dog and bitch were “effectively starving” and that both subsequently increased body weight by “a third” in just seven days.

But jobless John Jones, 55, of Woodhouse Lane, told investigators from the RSPCA that he had been devastated after his wife and step daughter, whose dogs they were, moved out.

Bob Toppin, defending, said Jones had been struggling financially after losing his benefits and hadn’t been able to eat himself for days.

In interview Jones told RSPCA Inspector Claire Roberts: “You can take the dogs and keep them, for me, and don’t bring them back.

“I can’t afford to keep feeding them because I haven’t even got enough money to feed myself.”

Tony Stock, prosecuting, told Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court that the Society had been called to Jones’s home by worried neighbours.

Insp Roberts was struck immediately by the fact that the room in which the dogs were being kept had a bare floor with no sleeping materials for the animals and pools of urine were visible on the floor.

Both dogs were emaciated with their bone structures “very visible” and both had dirty and smelly coats with evidence of fleas.

When examined by Gilmore Veterinary Surgery based vet Natalie Oakes she found that both dogs had been caused unnecessary suffering by Jones’s failure to provide them with a nutritionally adequate diet for “at least a month”.

Defence solicitor Mr Toppin said that Jones, who can’t read or write, didn’t enjoy good mental or physical health.

His wife had taken “99 per cent” of the responsibilty of looking after the terriers and had kept promising to come back and retrieve her pets after she left, but had never done so.

Jones was given a 12 months long conditional discharge but was ordered to pay £260 costs.