A couple have been banned for life from keeping dogs after pets were found in a bedroom with no food or water.
Frazer Hugh Massey, aged 25, and Zoe Natasha White, aged 31, of Morland Road, Gleadless Valley, were handed 14-week prison sentences, suspended for 12-months, and disqualified from keeping dogs for life.
Doncaster Magistrates Court heard how the couple had left one of their previous properties at Wembley Road, Moorends, in Doncaster, on June 9 after an incident during which police were called and had never gone back.
The RSPCA said the couple had left eight-month-old male Yorkshire terrier cross Rexy and seven-year-old female Jack Russell Missy ‘in an upstairs bedroom with no food or water’.
A concerned member of the public contacted animal welfare inspectors who attended and placed seals on the door to establish whether anyone was attending.
RSPCA Inspector Tamsin Drysdale spoke with White the next day who said the 15-year-old daughter of a friend was attending, and they were returning the day after, but that did not happen.
After the court hearing, Insp Drysdale said: “When I opened the door to the bedroom Missy ran straight past me, she was so desperate to get out.
“Then I saw the scratch marks in the carpet where the dogs had clearly been trying to escape.
“I went downstairs and gave Missy some water, and she drank excessively and for a long period of time.
“Rexy wasn’t so lucky. His body was among the clothes, empty takeaway boxes and fizzy drink bottles on the floor.”
She added: “It’s hard to imagine any circumstances where I would leave my dogs locked in a bedroom alone, without food or water, and without ensuring that someone was attending to them, like Massey and White did here.
“The animals were discovered after I got a call from White saying she wanted to rehome them and directing me to a spare key so that I could go and get them. If they’d done that sooner, both dogs might have survived.”
Veterinary examinations found that Rexy was very thin and had a lot of flea dirt in his coat. A subsequent post-mortem found he had most likely starved to death.
Missy was also found to be underweight, itchy and had lots of live fleas in her coat. She was cared for at the RSPCA’s animal rescue centre in Bawtry and has since been happily rehomed.
Massey and White admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by leaving them unattended without taking reasonable steps to ensure that adequate arrangements were made for their care between June 10 and 28.
In mitigation, Doncaster Magistrates Court heard earlier today that it was their first offences, they were remorseful and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
Along with the suspended prison sentence and disqualification, Massey was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.
White was given a curfew order between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
They were also ordered to pay £150 costs and a victim surcharge of £115 each.