Woman let dogs die painful deaths in appalling conditions
A woman has been banned from keeping animals for life after she left her two dogs to die painful deaths in squalid conditions.
RSPCA inspectors, called in by neighbours because of the appalling smell, found the bodies of Rottweilers Jacob and Mia side by side.
A post-mortem revealed both animals had died in tremendous pain having suffered an extended period of neglect by their owner Jacqueline Bursnoll.
Wigan magistrates heard the 52-year-old was found in a drunken stupor in an upstairs bedroom of the Wigan Road house in Atherton.
Tests found the male dog had died five weeks earlier after Bursnoll failed to find veterinary treatment for an intestinal blockage and the female dog was killed after being starved and then fed a large amount of dried food, which fatally swelled her stomach.
Bursnoll admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering and two charges of failing in the duty of a person responsible for the welfare of animals.
Representing herself in court, she offered no mitigation for her conduct and was given a 10-week prison sentenced suspended for 12 months.
The chairman of the bench warned her that, although she has no previous convictions, she had escaped prison by only the finest of margins because of the gravity of the cruelty case, which was brought by the RSPCA.
Tony Stock, prosecuting, revealed that RSPCA officers had been called in after concerns were raised that the dogs hadn’t been seen for some while.
A further inspection revealed patches of fur and liquid in a back room which indicated that the dogs had actually died there but had then been moved after death.
Bursnoll had not been feeding Mia regularly, said Mr Stock, but the dog had then been given a large meal which swelled and fatally “bloated up” in her stomach.
Although declining to make any comment to the magistrates, Bursnall, had told RSPCA investigating inspector Vicki Hancox that she had “got in a rut and couldn’t cope with anything” apart from going to work to earn enough money to keep the house.
She had stopped the dogs going outside and allowed them to toilet in the house after an “issue” with a neighbour.
Bursnoll was ordered to make a £300 contribution to the RSPCA’s costs of prosecution and pay a £115 victim surcharge payment although the £420 vets fees will be paid out of central funds.
The presiding magistrate said: “We understand that you have had a number of personal issues but we never the less feel that you are an entirely unsuitable person to care for any animals in future.
“You are very lucky indeed that we have decided to suspend it for 12 months.”